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COURTHOPE FORMAN ... ... ... ... ... ... 28 

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JANUARY 1922. 




IT was market day at Aldersbury, the old county town of Aldshire, 
and the busiest hour of the day. The clock of St. Juliana's was 
on the point of striking three, and the streets below it were 
thronged. The gentry, indeed, were beginning to take them- 
selves homeward ; a carriage and four, with postillions in yellow 
jackets, awaited its letters before the Post Office, and near at hand 
a red-wheeled tandem-cart, the horses tossing their small, keen 
heads, hung on the movements of its master, who was gossiping 
on the steps of Ovington's Bank, on Bride Hill. But only the 
vans bound to the more distant valleys had yet started on their 
lagging journey ; the farmers' gigs, the hucksters' carts, the pack- 
asses still lingered, filling the streets with a chattering, moving 
multitude. White-coated yeomen and their wives jostled their 
betters but with humble apologies in the low-browed shops, 
or hardily pushed smocked-frocks from the narrow pavements, 
or clung together in obstinate groups in the roadway. Loud was 
the babel about the yards of the inns, loudest where the tap-rooms 
poured forth those who, having dined well, had also drunk deep, 
after the fashion of our great-grandsires. 

Through all this medley and hubbub a young man threaded 
his way. He wore a blue coat with gilt buttons, a waistcoat to 
match, and drab trousers, and as he hurried along, his hat tilted 
back, he greeted gentle and simple with the same laughing nod. 
He had the carriage of one who had a fixed position in the world 
and knew his worth ; and so attractive was his smile, so gallant his 
confidence, that liking ran before him, and half of the faces that 
he encountered mirrored his good humour. As he passed along 
the High Street, and skirted the Market Place, where the quaint 

VOL. LII. NO. 307, N.S. 1 


stone figure of an ancient Prince, great in his day, looked down 
on the turmoil from the front of the Market House, he glanced up 
at the clock, noted the imminence of the hour, and quickened his 

A man touched him on the sleeve. 'Mr. Bourdillon, sir,' he 

said, trying to stop him, ' by your leave, I want to ' 

' Not now. Not now, Broadway,' the young man answered 
quickly. ' I'm meeting the mail.' And before the other had 
fairly taken in his words he was a dozen paces away, now slipping 
deftly between two lurching farmers, now coasting about the 
more obstinate groups. 

A moment later St. Juliana's clock, hard put to it to raise its 
wheezy voice above the noise, struck the hour. The young man 
slackened his pace. He was in time, but only barely in time, for 
as he paused, the distant notes of the guard's bugle sprang like 
fairy music above the turbid current of sound and gave notice 
that the coach was at hand. Hurriedly gigs and carts drew aside, 
the crowd sought the pavements, the more sober drew the heed- 
less out of danger, half a dozen voices cried ' Look out ! Have 
a care ! ' and with a last shrill Tantivy ! Tantivy ! Tantivy ! the 
four sweating bays, the leaders cantering, the wheelers trotting, 
the bars all taut, emerged from the crest of the steep Cop, and 
the Holyhead Mail, within a minute of its time, drew up before 
the door of the Lion, the Royal Arms shining bravely from its 
red panels. 

Shop-keepers ran to their doors, the crowd closed up about it, 
the yokels gaped for who in those days felt no interest in its 
advent ! By that coach had come, eleven years before, the news 
of the abdication of the Corsican and the close of the Great War. 
Laurelled and flagged, it had thrilled the town a year afterwards 
with the tidings of Waterloo. Later it had signalled the death 
of the old blind king, and later still, the acquittal as all the 
world regarded it of Queen Caroline. Ah, how the crowd had 
cheered then ! And how lustily old Squire Griffin of Garth, the 
great-uncle of this young man, now come to meet the mail, had 
longed to lay his cane about their disloyal shoulders ! 

The coachman, who had driven the eleven-mile stage from 
Haygate in fifty-eight minutes, unbuckled and flung down the 
reins. The guard thrust his bugle into its case, tossed a bundle 
of journals to the waiting boys, and stepped nimbly to the ground. 
The passengers followed more slowly, stamping their chilled feet, 
and stretching their cramped limbs. Some, who were strangers, 


looked about them with a travelled air, or hastened to the blazing 
fires that shone from the Lion windows, while two or three who 
were at their journey's end bustled about, rescuing shawls and 
portmanteaux, or dived into inner pockets for the coachman's 

The last to appear, a man, rather below the middle height, 
in a handsome caped travelling-coat, was in no hurry. He stepped 
out at his ease and found the young man who has been described 
at his side. ' That you, Arthur ? ' he said, his face lighting up. 
' All well ? J 

' All well, sir. Let me take that ! ' 

' Isn't Rodd here ? Ah ! ' to a second young man, plainer, 
darker, and more soberly garbed, who had silently appeared at 
his forerunner's elbow. * Take this, Rodd, will you ? ' handing 
him a small leather case. ' Don't let it go, until it is on my table. 
All well ? ' 

' All well, sir, thank you.' 

' Then go on at once, will you ? I will follow with Mr. 
Bourdillon. Give me your arm, Arthur.' He looked about him 
as he spoke. One or two hats were lifted, he acknowledged the 
courtesy with a smile. * Betty well ? ' 

' You'll find her at the window looking out. All gone swim- 
mingly, I hope, sir ? ' 

' Swimmingly ? ' The traveller paused on the word, perhaps 
questioning its propriety ; and he did not continue until they had 
disengaged themselves from the group round the coach. He and 
the young man came, though there was nothing to show this, from 
different grades of society, and the one was thirty years older than 
the other and some inches shorter. Yet there was a likeness. The 
lower part of the face in each was strong, and a certain brightness 
in the eyes, that was alertness in the younger man and keenness 
in the elder, told of a sanguine temperament ; and they were both 
good-looking. ' Swimmingly ? ' the traveller repeated when they 
had freed themselves from their immediate neighbours. ' Well, 
if you choose to put it that way, yes. But, it's wonderful, wonder- 
ful,' in a lower tone, as he paused an instant to acknowledge an 
acquaintance, ' the state of things up there, my boy.' 

' Still rising ? ' 

' Rising as if things would never fall. And upon my word I 
don't know why, with the marvellous progress everything is making 
but I'll tell you all that later. It's a full market. Is Acherley 
at the bank ? ' 


' Yes, and Sir Charles. They came a little before time/ 

' Clement is with them, I suppose ? ' 

' WeU, no, sir.' 

' Don't say he's away to-day ! ' in a tone of vexation. 

' I'm afraid he is,' Arthur admitted reluctantly. * But they 
are all right. I offered Sir Charles the paper, but they preferred 
to wait outside.' 

' D n ! ' muttered the other, nodding right and left. * Too 

bad of the boy ! Too bad ! No/ to the person who had lain in 
wait for Bourdillon and now put himself in their way, ' I can't stop 
now, Mr. Broadway/ 

' But, Mr. Ovington ! Just a ' 

' Not now ! ' Ovington answered curtly. ' Call to-morrow/ 
And when they had left the man behind, * What does he want ? ' 

' What they all want/ Arthur answered, smiling. ' A good 
thing, sir/ 

' But he isn't a customer/ 

' No, but he will be to-morrow/ the young man rejoined. 
' They are all agog. They've all got it that you can make a man's 
fortune by a word, and of course they want their fortunes made/ 

' Ah ! ' the other ejaculated drily. c But seriously, look about 
you, Arthur. Did you ever see a greater change in men's faces 
from what they were this time two years ? Even the farmers ! ' 

' Well, they are doing well/ 

' Better, at any rate. Better, even they. Yes, Mr. Wolley/ 
to a stout man, much wrapped up, who put himself in the way, 
' follow us, please. Sir Charles is waiting. Better/ Ovington 
continued to his companion, as the man fell behind, ' and prices 
rising, and demand demand spreading in everything/ 

' Including Stocks ? ' 

' Including Stocks. I've some news for Sir Charles, that, if 
he has any doubts about joining us, will fix him. Well, here we 
are, and I'm glad to be at home. We'll go in by the house door, 
Arthur, or Betty will be disappointed/ 

The bank stood on Bride Hill, looking down the High Street. 
The position was excellent and the house good. Still, it was no 
more than a house, for in 1825 banks were not the institutions 
that they have since become ; they had still for rivals the old 
stocking and the cracked teapot, and among banks, Ovington's 
at Aldersbury was neither of long standing nor of more than local 

Mr. Ovington led the way into the house, and had barely 


removed his hat when a girl flew down the wide oak staircase and 
flung herself upon him. * Oh, father ! ' she cried. ' Here at last ! 
Aren't you cold ? Aren't you starving ? ' 

' Pretty well for that,' he replied, stroking her hair in a way 
that proved that, whatever he was to others, he had a soft spot 
for his daughter. ' Pretty well for that, Betty.' 

1 Well, there's a good fire ! Come and warm yourself ! ' 

* That's what I can't do, my dear/ he said, taking off his great 
coat. * Business first.' 

' But I thought you had done all that in London ? ' pouting. 
' Not all, but some. I shall be an hour, perhaps more.' 
She shot a mutinous glance at Arthur. ' Why can't he do it ? 
And Mr. Kodd ? ' 

* You think we are old enough, Betty ? ' 

* Apprentices should be seen, and not heard ! ' she snapped. 
Arthur's position at the bank had been hardly understood at 

first, and in some fit of mischief, Betty, determined not to bow 
down to his pretensions, had christened him the * Apprentice.' 

' I thought that that proverb applied to children,' he retorted. 

The girl was a beauty, dark and vivid, but small, and young 
enough to feel the gibe. Before she could retaliate, however, 
her father intervened. * Where's Clement ? ' he asked. * I know 
that he is not here.' 

' Tell-tale ! ' she flung at Arthur. ' If you must know, father,' 
mildly, ' I think that he's ' 

' Mooning somewhere, I suppose, instead of being in the bank, 
as he should be. And market day of all days ! There, come, 
Bourdillon, I mustn't keep Sir Charles and Acherley waiting.' He 
led the way to the rear of the hall, where a door on the left led 
into the bank parlour. Betty made a face after them. 

In the parlour which lay behind the public office were two 
men. One, seated in an arm-chair by the fire, was reading the 
Morning Post. The other was standing at the window, his very 
shoulders expressing his impatience. But it was to the former, 
a tall, middle-aged man, stiff and pompous, with thin sandy hair 
but kindly eyes, that Ovington made the first advance. ' I am sorry 
to have kept you waiting, Sir Charles,' he said. ' Very sorry. But 
I assure you I have not wasted a minute. Mr. Acherley,' to the 
other, ' pardon me, will you ? Just a word with Sir Charles before 
we begin.' 

And leaving Bourdillon to make himself agreeable to the 
impatient Acherley, Ovington drew Sir Charles Woosenham aside. 


' I have gone a little beyond my instructions,' he said in a low 
tone, * and sold your Monte Reales.' 

The Baronet's face fell. * Sold ! ' he ejaculated. ' Parted 
with them ? But I never my dear sir, I never ' 

' Authorised a sale ? ' the banker agreed suavely. ' No, 
perfectly right, Sir Charles. But I was on the spot and I felt 
myself responsible. There was a favourable turn and ' fore- 
stalling the other as he would have interrupted ' my rule is 
little and sure little and sure, and sell on a fair rise. I don't 
think you will be dissatisfied with the transaction.' 

But Sir Charles's displeasure showed itself in his face. He 
was a man of family and influence, honourable and straight- 
forward, but his abilities were hardly on a par with his position, 
and though he had at times an inkling of the fact it only made 
him the more jealous of interference. ' But I never contemplated/ 
he said, the blood rising to his face, ' never for a moment, that 
you would part with the stocks without reference to me, Mr. 

* Precisely, precisely without your authority, Sir Charles 
except at a really good profit. I think that four or five hundred 
was mentioned ? Just so. Well, if you will look at this draft, 
which of course includes the price of the stocks they cost, if I 
remember, fourteen hundred or thereabouts you will, I hope, 
I really hope approve of what I did.' 

Sir Charles adjusted his glasses, and frowned at tbe paper. 
He was prepared to be displeased and to show it. ' Two thousand 
six hundred,' he muttered, ' two thousand six hundred and twenty- 
seven ! ' his jaw dropping in his surprise. ' Two thousand six 
really ! Ah, well, I certainly think ' with a quick change to 
cordiality that would have amused an onlooker ' that you acted 
for the best. I am obliged to you, much obliged, Mr. Ovington. 
A handsome profit.' 

1 1 felt sure that you would approve,' the banker assented 
gravely. ' Shall Bourdillon put the draft Arthur, be good enough 
to place this draft to Sir Charles Woosenham's account. And tell 
Mr. Wolley and Mr. Grounds I think they are waiting to come in. 
I ask your pardon, Mr. Acherley,' approaching him in turn. 

* No plum for me, I suppose ? ' growled that gentleman, whom 
the gist of the interview with Sir Charles had not escaped. He 
was a tall, hatchet-faced, dissipated-looking man, of an old family, 
Acherley of Acherley. He had been a dandy with Brummell, 


had shaken his elbow at Watier's when Crockford managed it, 
had dined at the Pavilion ; now he vegetated in the country on 
a mortgaged estate, and on Sundays attended cock-fights behind 
the village public-house. 

* Well, not to-day,' Ovington answered pleasantly. ' But 
when we have shaken the tree a little ' 

' One may fall, you think ? ' 

' I hope so. You will be unlucky if one does not.' 

The two men who had been summoned came in, each after 
his fashion. Wolley entered first, endeavouring to mask under 
a swaggering manner his consciousness that he stood in the pres- 
ence of his betters. A clothier from the Valleys and one of 
Ovington's earliest customers, he had raised himself, as the banker 
had, and from the same stratum ; but by enlarging instead of selling 
his mill. During the war he had made much money and had 
come to attribute his success a little more to his abilities and a 
little less to circumstances than was the fact. Of late there were 
whispers that in the financial storm of '16, which had followed 
the close of the war, he had come near the rocks ; but if so he had 
put a bold face on the crisis, and by an assertive manner and by 
steadily putting himself forward he had impressed most men with 
a belief in his wealth. ' Afternoon, Sir Charles,' he grunted with 
as much ease as he could compass. ' Afternoon,' to Acherley. 
He took a seat at the table and slapped down his hat. He was 
here on business and he meant to show that he knew what business 

Grounds, who followed, was a man of a different type. He was 
a maltster and had been a dairyman ; a leading tradesman in the 
town, cautious, penurious, timid, putting pound to pound without 
saying much about it, and owning that respect for his superiors 
which became one in his position. Until lately he had hoarded 
his savings, or put them into the five per cents. ; he had distrusted 
even the oldest and most respectable bank. But progress was 
in the air, new enterprises, new discoveries were the talk of the 
town, the interest on the five per cents, had been reduced to four, 
and in a rare moment of rashness, he had taken a hint dropped 
by Ovington, had ventured, and won. He still trembled at his 
temerity, he still vowed in wakeful moments that he would return 
to the old safe road, but in the meantime easy gains tempted him 
and he was now fairly embarked on modern courses. He was a 
byword in Aldersbury for caution and shrewdness, and his adhesion 


to any scheme would, as Ovington well knew, commend it to the 

He hung back, but, ' Come, Mr. Grounds, take a seat,' said 
the banker. ' You know Sir Charles and Mr. Acherley ? Sir 
Charles, will you sit on my right, and Mr. Acherley here, if you 
please ? Bourdillon, will you take a note ? We are met, as you 
know, gentlemen, to consider the formation of a Joint Stock 
Company, to be called ' he consulted a paper ' the Valleys 
Steam Railroad Company, for the purpose of connecting the 
woollen business of the Valleys with the town, and of providing 
the public with a superior mode of transport. The Bill for the 
Manchester and Liverpool Railroad is on the point of passing, 
and that great enterprise is as good as carried through. The 
Bill for the London and Birmingham Railroad is before the House ; 
a Bill for a line from Birmingham to Aldersbury is preparing. 
Those projects are, gentlemen, in stronger hands than ours, and 
it might seem to some to be too early to anticipate their success 
and to provide the continuation we propose. But nothing is 
more certain than that the spoils are to those who are first in the 
field. The Stockton and Darlington Railway is proving what 
can be done by steam in the transport of the heaviest goods. A 
single engine there draws a load of fifty tons at the rate of six 
miles an hour, and has been known to convey a load of passengers 
at fifteen miles. Higher speeds than these are thought to be 
possible ' 

' I'll never believe it ! ' Wolley growled, anxious to assert 

' But not desirable,' Ovington continued blandly. ' At any 
rate, if we wait too long ' 

1 There's no talk of waiting ! ' Acherley exclaimed impatiently. 
Neither he nor Sir Charles was in the habit of meeting on an equal 
footing the men with whom they were sitting to-day ; he found the 
position galling, and - what was to be done he was anxious should 
be done quickly. He had heard the banker's exordium before. 

* No, we are here to act,' Ovington assented, with one eye on 
Grounds, for whose benefit he had been talking. ' But on sober 
and well-considered lines. We are all agreed, I think, that such 
a railroad will be a benefit to the trade and district ? ' 

Now, to this proposition not one of those present would have 
assented a year before. ' Steam railroads ? ' they would have 
cried, ' fantastic and impossible ! ' But the years 1823 and 1824 


had been years not only of great prosperity but of abnormal 
progress. The seven lean years, the years of depression and 
repression, which had followed Waterloo had come to an end. The 
losses of war had been made good, and simultaneously a more 
liberal spirit had been infused into the Government. Men had 
breathed freely, had looked about them, had begun to hope and 
to venture, to talk of a new world. Demand had overtaken and 
outrun supply, large profits had been made, money had become 
cheap, and, fostered by credit, the growth of enterprise through- 
out the country had been marvellous. It was as if, after the 
frosts of winter, the south wind had blown and sleeping life had 
everywhere awakened. Men doubled their operations and still 
had money to spare. They put the money in the funds the 
funds rose until they paid no more than three per cent. Dis- 
satisfied, men sought other channels for their savings, nor sought 
in vain. Joint Stock Companies arose on every side. Projects, 
good and bad, sprang up like mushrooms in a night. Old lodes 
and new harbours, old canals and new fisheries, were taken in 
hand, and for all these there seemed to be capital. Shares rose 
to a premium before the companies were floated, and soon the 
bounds of our shores were found to be too narrow for British 
enterprise. At that moment, however, the separation of the 
South American countries from Spain fell out, and these were at 
once seen to offer new outlets. The romantic were dazzled with 
legends of mines of gold and pockets of diamonds, while the 
gravest saw gain in pampas waving with wheat and prairies grazed 
by countless herds. It was felt, even by the most cautious, that 
a new era had set in. Trade, soaring on a continual rise in prices, 
was to know no bounds. If the golden age of commerce had 
not begun, something very like it had come to bless the British 

Under such circumstances the Valleys Railroad seemed a 
practical thing even to Grounds, and Ovington's question was 
answered by a general assent. 

* Very good, gentlemen/ he resumed. ' Then I may take 
that as agreed.' He proceeded to enter upon the details of the 
scheme. The length of the line would be fourteen miles. The 
capital was to be 45,000, divided into 4500 shares of 10 each, 
1 a share to be paid at^once, the sum so raised to be used for 
the preliminary expensewfc 1 105. per share to be paid three 
months later, and the i jst to be called up as required The 


directors' qualification would be fifty shares. The number of 
directors would be seven the five gentlemen now present and 
two to be named, as to whom he would have a word to say by- 
and-by. Mr. Bourdillon, of whose abilities he desired to speak 
in high praise here several at the table looked kindly at the 
young man and who for other reasons was eminently fitted for 
the position, would be secretary. 

1 But will the forty-five thousand be enough, sir ? ' Grounds 
ventured timidly. He alone was not directly interested in the 
venture. Wolley was the tenant of a large mill. Sir Charles 
was the owner of two mills and the hamlets about them, Acherley 
of a third. Ovington had various interests. 

* To complete the line, Mr. Grounds ? We believe so. To 
provide the engine and coaches another fifteen thousand will be 
needed, but this may be more cheaply raised by a mortgage.' 

Sir Charles shied at the word. ' I don't like a mortgage, 
Mr. Ovington,' he said. 

' No, d n a mortgage ! ' Acherley chimed in. He had had 

much experience of them. 

' The point is this,' the banker explained. ' The road once 
completed, we shall be able to raise the fifteen thousand at five 
per cent. If we issue shares they must partake, equally with 
ourselves, in the profits, which may be fifteen, twenty, perhaps 
twenty-five per cent.' 

A twinkle of greed passed from eye to eye. Fifteen, twenty, 
twenty-five per cent. ! Ho, ho ! 

* The next question,' Ovington continued, * is that of the right 
of way. We cannot use the highway, the gradients and angles 
render that impossible. We must acquire a right of way ; but, 
fortunately, the estates we run over are few, no more than thirteen 
in all, and for a full third of the distance they are represented at 
this table.' He bowed gracefully to the two landowners. ' Sir 
Charles will, of course, be President of the Koad and Chairman of 
the Directors. We are fortunate in having at our head a country 
gentleman who has ' he bowed again ' the enlightenment to 
see that the landed interest is best served by making commerce 
contributory to its well-being.' 

' But what about the game 1^ Sir Charles asked anxiously. 
1 You don't think ' 

'The greatest care will be taken - L1 n that point. We shall 
see that no covert is closely approaches. ' 


e And the you won't bring the line within sight of- 

* Of the Park ? God forbid ! The amenities of every estate 
must be carefully guarded. And, of course, a fair price for the 
right of way will be agreed. Seven of the smaller landowners I 
have sounded, and we shall have no trouble with them. The 
largest estate outstanding ' 

' Is my landlord's, I'll bet ! ' Wolley exclaimed. 

' Yes is Garth. Mr. Griffin's.' 

Wolley laughed rudely. ' Garth ? Ay, you'll have your 
work cut out there ! ' 

' Oh, I don't know ! ' 

' I do. And you'll find I'm right/ 

' Well, I hope 

' You may hope what you like ! ' Sir Charles shuddered at 
the man's brusqueness. ' The Squire's a hard nut to crack, and 
so you'll find, banker. If you can get him to do a thing he don't 
wish to do, you'll be the first that ever has. He hates the name 
of trade as he hates the devil ! ' 

The baronet sat up. ' Trade ? ' he exclaimed. ' Oh ! but I 

am not aware, sir, that this is Surely a railroad is on another 

footing ? ' Alarm was written on his face. 

* Quite ! ' Ovington struck in hurriedly. * Entirely different ! 
Another thing altogether, Sir Charles. There can be only one 
opinion on that.' 

* Of course, if I thought I was entering on anything like ' 

' A railroad is on an entirely different footing,' the banker 

repeated, with an angry glance at Wolley, who, unrepentant, 
continued to stare before him, a sneer on his face. ' On an 
entirely different footing. Even Mr. Griffin, prejudiced as I 
venture with all respect to think he is even he would agree 
to that. But I have considered the difficulty, gentlemen, and I 
have no doubt we can surmount it. I propose to see him on 
Monday morning, accompanied by Mr. Bourdillon, his nephew 
great-nephew, I should say and between us I have no doubt 
that we shall be able to persuade him.' 

Acherley looked over his shoulder at the secretary, who sat 
at a small table at Ovington's elbow. * Like the job, Arthur ? ' 
he asked. 

' I think Sir Charles's example will go a long way with him,' 
Bourdillon answered. He was a tactful young man. 

The banker put the interruption aside. ' I shall see Mr. 


Griffin on Monday, and with your consent, gentlemen, I propose 
to offer him the sixth seat at the Board/ 

' Quite right, quite right/ Sir Charles murmured, much relieved. 

' He'll not take it ! ' Wolley persisted. 

* My dear sir ! ' 

* You will see I am right.' 

* Well, there are more ways than one. At any rate I will see 
him and report to the next meeting, when, with the chairman's 
approbation, we shall draw up the prospectus. In that con- 
nection ' he consulted his paper * I have already received over- 
tures from customers of the bank for four hundred shares.' There 
was a murmur of applause and Grounds's face betrayed relief. 
' Then Sir Charles has put himself down for three hundred.' He 
bowed deferentially to Woosenham. * Mr. Acherley for one 
hundred and fifty, Mr. Wolley has taken up one hundred and 
twenty-five, and Mr. Grounds I have not heard from Mr. Grounds, 
and there is no hurry. No hurry at all ! ' 

But Grounds, feeling that all eyes were on him, and feeling 
also uncomfortable in his company, took the fence up to which 
he had been brought. He murmured that he would take one 
hundred and twenty-five. 

' Excellent ! ' said Ovington. * And I, on behalf of the bank, 
propose to take four hundred.' Again there was a murmur of 
applause. ' So that before we go to the public we have already 
one-third of the shares taken up. That being so, I feel no doubt 
that we shall start at a premium before we cut the first sod.' 

There followed a movement of feet, an outburst of hilarity. 
For this was what they had all wished to hear ; this was the point. 
Chairs were pushed back, and Sir Charles, who was as fearful for 
his prestige as Grounds for his money, recovered his cheerfulness. 
Even Acherley became gocd-humoured. * Well, here's to the 
Valleys Kailroad ! ' he cried. ' Damme, we ought to have some- 
thing to drink it in ! ' - 

The banker ignored this, and Sir Charles spoke. ' But as to 
the seventh seat at the Board ? We have not arranged that, I 
think ? ' He liked to show that nothing escaped him, and that 
if he was above business he could still, when he condescended to 
it, be a business man. 

' No,' Ovington agreed. ' But I suggest that, with your per- 
mission, we hold that over. There may be a big subscriber taking 
three or four hundred shares ? ' 


' Quite so, quite so/ 

' Somebody may come forward, and the larger the applications 
the higher the premium, gentlemen.' 

Again eyes glistened, and there was a new movement. 
Woosenham took his leave, bowing to Wolley and Grounds, and 
shaking hands with the others. Acherley went with him and 
Ovington accompanied them, bare-headed, to Sir Charles's carriage, 
which was waiting before the bank. As he returned Wolley way- 
laid him and drew him into a corner. A conference took place, 
the banker turning the money in his fob as he listened, his face 
grave. Presently the clothier entered on a second explanation. 
In the end Ovington nodded. He called Eodd from the counter 
and gave him an order. He left his customer in the bank. 

When he re-entered the parlour Grounds had disappeared, 
and Arthur, who was bending over his papers, looked up. ' Wolley 
wanted his notes renewed, I suppose ? ' he said. The bank had 
few secrets for this shrewd young man, who had learnt as much 
of business in eighteen months as Rodd the cashier had learned 
in ten years, or as Clement Ovington would learn in twenty. 

The banker nodded. ' And three hundred more on his standing 

Arthur whistled. ' I wonder you go on carrying him, sir/ 

' If I cut him loose now ' 

' There would be a loss, of course/ 

* Yes, but that is not all, lad. Where would the Railroad 
scheme be ? Gone. And that's not all, either. His fall would 
deal a blow to credit. The money that we are drawing out of 
the old stockings and the cracked tea-pots would go back to them. 
Half the clothiers in the Valley would shiver, and neither I nor 
you would be able to say where the trouble would stop, or who 
would be in the Gazette next week. No, we must carry him for 
the present, 'and pay for his railway shares too. But we shall 
hold them, and the profits will eventually come to us. And if 
the railway is made, or begun, it will raise the value of mills and 
increase our security ; so that whether he goes on or we have to 
take the mills over which Heaven forbid ! the ground will be 
firmer. It went well ? ' 

' Splendidly ! The way you managed them ! ' The lad 

' What is it ? ' 

* Grounds asked me if I did not think that you were like the 


pictures of old Boney. I said I did. The Napoleon of Finance, 
I told him. Only, I added, you knew a deal better where to stop.' 

Ovington shook his head at the flatterer, but was pleased with 
the flattery. More than once, people had stopped him in the 
street and told him that he was like Napoleon. It was not only 
that he was stout and of middle height, with his head sunk between 
his shoulders ; but he had the classic profile, the waxen complexion, 
the dominating brow and keen bright eyes, nay, something of the 
air of power of the great Exile who had died three years before. 
And he had something, too, of his ambition. Sprung from nothing, 
a self-made man, a native of the district, he seemed in his neigh- 
bours' eyes to have already reached a wonderful eminence. But 
in his own eyes he was still low on the hill of fortune. He was 
still a country banker, and new at that. But if the wave of pros- 
perity which was sweeping over the country and which had already 
wrought so many changes, if this could be taken at the flood, 
nothing, he believed, was beyond him. He dreamed of a union 
with Dean's, the old conservative steady-going bank of the town ; 
of branches here and branches there ; finally of an amalgamation 
with a London bank, of Threadneedle Street, and a directorship 
but Arthur was speaking. 

* You managed Grounds splendidly,' he said. ' I'll wager he's 
sweating over what he's done ! But do you think ' he looked 
keenly at the banker as he put the question, for he was eager 
to know what was in his mind ' the thing will succeed, sir ? ' 

' The railroad ? ' 

' Yes.' 

' I think that the shares will go to a premium. And I see no 
reason why the railroad should not succeed in time. If I did 
not think so, I should not be fostering it. It may take time and, 
of course, more money than we think. But if credit remains good, 
and nothing occurs to dash the public no, I don't see why it 
should not succeed. And if it does it will give such an impetus 
to the trade of the Valleys, three-fourths of which passes through 
our hands, as will repay us many times over.' 

' I am glad you think so. I was not sure.' 

' Because I led Grounds a little ? Oh, that was fair enough. 
It does not follow from that, that honesty is not the banker's 
only policy. Make no mistake about that. But I am going into 
the house now. Just bring me the note-issue book, will you ? 
I must see how we stand. I shall be in the dining-room.' 


' Very good, sir.' 

But when Arthur went into the house a few minutes later 
he met Betty, who was crossing the hall. ' Your father wanted 
this book,' he said. ' Will you take it to him ? ' 

But Betty put her hands behind her back. ' Why ? Where 
are you going ? ' 

' You have forgotten that it is Saturday. I am going home.' 

' Horrid Saturday ! I thought that to-night, with father just 
back ' 

* I wouldn't go ? If I don't my mother will think that the 
skies have fallen. Besides, I am riding Clement's mare, and if 
I don't go, how is he to come back ? ' 

' As you go at other times. On his feet.' 

' Ah, well, very soon I shall have a horse of my own. You'll 
see, Betty. We are all going to make our fortunes now.' 

' Fortunes ? 'with disdain. ' Whose ? ' 

' Your father's for one.' 

' Silly ! He's made his.' 

' Then yours and mine, Betty. Yours and mine and 

' I don't think he'll thank you.' 

' Then Eodd's. But, no, we'll not make Rodd's. We'll not 
make Rodd's, Betty.' 

' And why not Mr. Rodd's ? ' 

1 Never mind. We'll not make it,' mischievously. ' I wonder 
why you've got such a colour, Betty ? ' And as she snatched 
the book from him and threatened him with it, * Good-bye till 
Monday. I'm late now, and it will be dark before I am out of 
the town.' 

With a gay nod he vanished through the door that led into 
the bank. She looked after him, the book in her hand. Her 
lip curled. ' Rodd indeed ! ' she murmered. ' Rodd ? As if 
I should ever oh, isn't he provoking ! ' 


THE village of Garthmyle, where Arthur had his home, lies in the 
lap of the border hills more than seven miles from Aldersbury, 
and night had veiled the landscape when he rode over the bridge 
and up the village street. The squat church-tower, firm and 
enduring as the hopes it embodied, rose four-square above the 


thatched dwellings, and some half-mile away the rider could dis- 
cern or imagine the blur of trees that masked Garth, on its sister 
eminence. But the bounds of the valley, in the mouth of which 
the village stands, were obscured by darkness ; the steep lime- 
stone wall which fenced it on one side and the more distant wooded 
hills that sloped gently to it on the other were alike hidden. It 
was only when Arthur had passed through the hamlet, where all 
doors were closed against the chill of a January night, and he had 
ridden a few paces down the hillock on which the village stands, 
that the lights of the Cottage broke upon his view. Many a time 
had they, friendly beacons of home and rest, greeted him at that 

Not that Arthur saw them as beacons, for at no time was he 
much given to sentiment. His outlook on life was too direct and 
vivid for that, and to-day in particular his mind was teeming 
with more practical thoughts, with hopes and plans and cal- 
culations. But the lights meant that a dull ride over a rough 
road and through a darkening country was at an end, and so far 
they gave him pleasure. He opened the gate and rode round to 
the stable, gave up the horse to Pugh, the man-of-all-work, and 
made his way into the house. 

He entered upon a scene as cheerful as any lights shining on 
weary traveller could promise. In a fair-sized room a clear grate 
held a coal fire, the flames of which danced on the red-papered 
walls. A kettle bubbled on the hob, a tea-tray gleamed on the 
table, and between the two a lady and gentleman sat, eating 
crumpets ; the lady with much elegance and a napkin spread 
over her lavender silk dress, the gentleman in a green cutaway 
coat with basket buttons a coat that ill concealed the splashed 
gaiters for which he had more than once asked pardon. 

But fair as things looked on the surface, all was not perfect 
even in this pleasant interior. The lady held herself stiffly, con- 
descension in her eyes eyes which rested rather more often 
than was courteous on the spatter-dashes. Secretly she thought 
her company not good enough for her, while the gentleman was 
frankly bored. Neither was finding the other as congenial as a 
first glance suggested, and it would have been hard to say which 
found Arthur's entrance the more welcome interruption. 

* Hallo, mother ! ' he said, stooping carelessly to kiss her. 
' Hallo, Clement/ 

' My dear Arthur ! ' the lady cried, the lappets of her cap 


shaking as she embraced him. ' How late you are ! That horrid 
bank ! I am sure that some day you will be robbed and mur- 
dered on your way home ! ' 

' I ! No, mother. I don't bring the money, more's the pity ! 
I am late, am I ? The worse for Clement, who has to ride home. 
But I have been doing your work, my lad, so you mustn't grumble. 
What did you get ? ' 

* A brace and a wood-pigeon. Has my father come ? ' 

' Yes, he has come, and I am afraid has a wigging in store for 
you. But a brace and a wood-pigeon ? Lord, man,' with a 
little contempt in his tone, * what do you do with your gun all 
day ? Why, Acherley told me that in that rough between the 
two fallows above the brook J 

' Oh, Arthur,' Mrs. Bourdillon interposed, * never mind that ! ' 
She had condescended sufficiently, she thought, and wished to 
hear no more of Clement Ovington's doings. ' I've something 
more important to tell you, much more important. I've had a 
dreadful shock to-day.' 

She was a faded lady, rather foolish than wise, and very elegant : 
one who made the most of such troubles as she had, and the opening 
her son now heard was one which he had heard often before. 

' What's the matter now, mother ? ' he asked, stooping to 
warm his hands. 

c Your uncle has been here.' 

' Well, that's no new thing.' 

' But he has behaved dreadfully, perfectly dreadfully to me.' 

4 1 don't know that that is new, either.' 

f He began again about your refusal to take Orders, and your 
going into that dreadful bank instead.' 

Arthur shrugged his shoulders. ' That's one for you, Clement.' 

' Oh, that wasn't the one half,' the lady continued, unbending. 
* He said, there was the living, three hundred and fifty a year, 
and old Mr. Trubshaw seventy-eight. And he'd have to sell it 
and put in a stranger and have quarrels about tithes. He stood 
there with his great stick in his hand and his eyes glaring at me 
like an angry cat's, and scolded me till I didn't know whether 
I stood on my head or my heels. He wanted to know where 
you got your low tastes from.' 

' There you are again, Clement ! ' 

' And your wish to go into trade, and I answered him quite 
sharp that you didn't get them from me ; as for Mr. Bourdillon's 
VOL. LIE. NO. 307, N.S. 2 


grandfather, who had the plantations in Jamaica, it wasn't the 
same at all, as everybody knows and agrees that nothing is gen- 
teeler than the West Indies with black men to do the work ! ' 

' You confounded him there, mother, I'm sure. But as we 
have heard something like this before, and Clement is not much 
interested, if that is all ' 

' Oh, but it is not all ! Very far from it ! ' Mrs. Bourdillon's 
head shook till the lappets swung again. ' The worst is to come, 
I can tell you. He said that we had had the Cottage rent-free 
for four years and I'm sure I don't know who has a better 
right to it but that that was while he still hoped that you were 
going to live like a gentleman, like the Griffins before you and 
I am sure the Bourdillons were gentry, or I should have been the 
last to marry your father ! But as you seemed set on going your 
own way and into the bank for good and I must say I told him 
it wasn't any wish of mine and I'd said all I could against it, as 
you know, and Mr. Clement knows the same why, it was but 
right that we should pay rent like other people ! And it would 
be thirty pounds a year from Lady Day ! ' 

1 The d d old hunks ! ' Arthur cried. He had listened 
unmoved to his mother's tirade, but this touched him. ' Well, 
he is a curmudgeon ! Thirty pounds a year ? Well, I'm d d ! 
And all because I won't starve as a parson ! ' 

But his mother rose in arms at that. ' Starve as a parson ! ' 
she cried. ' Why, I think you are as bad, one as the other. I'm 
sure your father never starved ! ' 

' No, I know, mother. He was passing rich on four hundred 
pounds a year. But that is not going to do for me.' 

' Well, I don't know what you want ! ' 

1 My dear mother, I've told you before what I want.' Arthur 
was fast regaining the good temper that he seldom lost. ' If I 
were a bishop's son and could look to be a bishop, or if I were an 
archdeacon's son with "the prospect of a fat prebend and a rectory 
or two to match, I'd take Orders. But with no prospect except 
the Garthmyle living, and with tithes falling ' 

' But haven't I told you over and over again that you have 
only to make-up to but there, I haven't told you that Jos was 
with him, and I will say this for her, that she looked as ashamed 
for him as I am sure I was ! I declare I was sorry for the girl and 
she not daring to put in a word such an old bear as he is to her ! ' 

' Poor Jos ! ' Arthur said. ' She has not a very bright life of 
it. But this does not interest Clement, and we're keeping him.' 


The young man had indeed made more than one attempt to 
take leave, but every time he had moved Mrs. Bourdillon had 
either ignored him, or by a stately gesture had claimed his silence. 
He rose now. 

' I dare say you know my cousin ? ' Arthur said. 

' I've seen her,' Clement answered ; and his mind went back 
to the only occasion on which he had remarked Miss Griffin. It 
had been at the last Race Ball at Aldersbury that he had noticed 
her a gentle, sweet-faced girl, plainly and even dowdily dressed, 
and so closely guarded by her proud old dragon of a father that, 
warned by the fate of others and aware that his name was not 
likely to find favour with the Squire, he had shrunk from seeking 
an introduction. But he had noticed that she sat out more than 
she danced ; sat, indeed, in a kind of isolation, fenced in by the 
old man, and regarded by girls more smartly dressed with glances 
of half-scornful pity. He had had time to watch her, for he also, 
though for different reasons, had been a little without the pale, 
and he had found her face attractive. He had imagined how 
differently she would look were she suitably dressed. ' Yes/ he 
continued, recalling it, ' she was at the last Eace Ball, I think.' 

' And a mighty poor time she had of it,' Arthur answered, half 
carelessly, half contemptuously. ' Poor Jos ! She hasn't at any 
time much of a life with my beauty of an uncle. Twopence to 
get and a penny to spend ! ' 

Mrs. Bourdillon protested. ' I do wish you would not talk 
of your cousin like that,' she said. ' You know that she's your 
uncle's heiress, and if you only ' 

Arthur cut her short. ' There ! There ! You don't remember, 
mother, that Clement has seven miles to ride before his supper. Let 
him go now ! He'll be late enough.' 

That was the end, and the two young men went out together. 
When Arthur returned after seeing his guest start, the tea had 
been removed and his mother was seated at her tambour work. 
He took his stand before the fire. ' Confounded old screw ! ' he 
fumed. ' Thirty pounds a year ? And he's three thousand, if 
he's a penny ! And more likely four ! ' 

' Well, it may be yours some day,' with a sniff. * I'm sure 
Jos is ready enough.' 

' She'll have to do as he tells her.' 

' But Garth must be hers.' 

' And still she'll have to do as he tells her. Don't you know 
yet, mother, that Jos has no more will than a mouse ? But 


never mind, we can afford his thirty pounds. Ovington is giving 
me a hundred and fifty, and I'm to have another hundred as 
secretary to this new Company that's news for you. With 
your two hundred and fifty we shall be able to pay his rent and 
shall be better off than before. I shall buy a nag Packham 
has one to sell and move to better rooms in town/ 

' But you'll still be in that dreadful bank,' Mrs. Bourdillon 
sighed. ' Really, Arthur, with so much money it seems a pity 
you should lower yourself to it.' 

He had some admirable qualities besides the gaiety, the alert- 
ness, the good looks that charmed all comers ; aye, and besides 
the rather uncommon head for figures and for business which came, 
perhaps, of his Huguenot ancestry, and had commended him to the 
banker. Of these qualities patience with his mother was one. 
So, instead of snubbing her, ' Why dreadful ? ' he asked good- 
humouredly. * Because all our county fogies look down on it ? 
Because having nothing but land, and drawing all their import- 
ance from land, they're jealous of the money that is shouldering 
them out and threatening their pride of place ? Listen to me, 
mother. There is a change coming ! Whether they see it or 
not, and I think they do see it, there is a change coming, and stiff 
as they hold themselves, they will have to give way to it. Three 
thousand a year ? Four thousand ? Why, if Ovington lives another 
ten years what do you think that he will be worth ? Not three 
thousand a year, but ten, fifteen, twenty thousand ! ' 

' Arthur ! ' 

' It is true, mother. Aye, twenty, it is possible ! And do 
you think that when he can buy up half a dozen of these thick- 
headed Squires who can just add two to two and make four 
that he'll not count ? Do you think that they'll be able to put 
him on one side ? No ! And they know it. They see that the 
big manufacturers and the big ironmasters and the big bankers 
who are putting together hundreds of thousands are going to push 
in among them and can't be kept out ! And therefore trade, as 
they call it, stinks in their nostrils ! ' 

* Oh, Arthur, how horrid ! ' Mrs. Bourdillon protested, * you 
are growing as coarse as your uncle. And I'm sure we don't want 
a lot of vulgar purse-proud ' 

4 Purse-proud ? And what is the Squire ? Land-proud ! 
But,' growing more calm, ' never mind that. You will take a 
different view when I tell you something that I heard to-day. 
Ovington let drop a word about a partnership.' 


' La, Arthur ! But ' 

' A partnership ! Nothing definite, nothing to bind, and not 
yet, but in the future. It was but a hint. But think of it, mother ! 
It is what I have been aiming at all along, but I didn't expect 
to hear of it yet. Not one or two hundred a year, but say, five 
hundred to begin with, and three, four, five thousand by and by ! 
Five thousand ! ' His eyes sparkled and he threw back the hair 
from his forehead with a characteristic gesture. ' Five thousand 
a year ! That's something. Think of that and don't talk to me 
of Orders. Take Orders ! Be a beggarly parson while I have 
that in my power, and in my power while I am still young ! For 
trust me, with Ovington at the helm and the tide at flood we shall 
move. We shall move, mother ! The money is there, lying there, 
lying everywhere to be picked up. And we shall pick it up/ 

1 You take my breath away ! ' his mother protested, her 
faded, delicate face unusually flushed. ' Five thousand a year ! 
Gracious me ! Why, it is more than your uncle has I ' She raised 
her mittened hands in protest. ' Oh, it is impossible ! ' The 
vision overcame her. 

But ' It is perfectly possible/ he repeated. l Clement is of no 
use. He is for ever wanting to be out of doors a farmer spoiled. 
Rodd's a mere mechanic. Ovington cannot do it all, and he sees 
it. He must have someone he can trust. And then it is not 
only that I suit him. I am what he is not a gentleman/ 

* If you could have it without going to the bank ! ' Mrs. 
Bourdillon said. And she sighed, golden as was the vision. But 
before they parted his eloquence had almost persuaded her. She 
had heard such things, had listened to such hopes, had been dazzled 
by such sums that she was well-nigh reconciled even to that 
which the old Squire dubbed ' the trade of usury/ 


MEANWHILE Clement Ovington jogged homeward through the 
darkness, his thoughts divided between the discussion at which 
he had made an unwilling third, and the objects about him which 
were never without interest for this young man. He had an ear, 
and a very sharp one, for the piping of the pee-wits in the low 
land by the river, and the owl's cadenced cry in the trees about 
Garth. He marked the stars shining in a depth of heaven opened 
amid the flying wrack of clouds ; he picked out Jupiter sailing with 
supreme dominion, and the Dog-star travelling across the southern 


tract. His eye caught the gleam of water on a meadow, and he 
reflected that old Gregory would never do any good with that 
ground until he made some stone drains in it. Not a sound in 
the sleeping woods, not the barking of a dog at a lonely home- 
stead and he knew every farm by name and sight and quality 
escaped him ; nor the shape of a covert, blurred though it was 
and leafless. But amid all these interests, and more than once, 
his thoughts as he rode turned inwards, and he pictured the face 
of the girl at the ball. Long forgotten, it recurred to him with 
strange persistence. 

He was an out-of-door man, and that, in his position, was the 
pity of it. Aldersbury School and Aldersbury was a very famous 
school in those days and Cambridge had done little to alter the 
tendency : possibly the latter, seated in the midst of wide open 
spaces, under a wide sky, the fens its neighbours, had done some- 
thing to strengthen his bent. Bourdillon thought of him with 
contempt, as a clodhopper, a rustic, hinting that he was a throw- 
back to an ancestor, not too remote, who had followed the plough 
and whistled for want of thought. But he did Clement an in- 
justice. It was possible that in his love of the soil he was a throw- 
back ; he would have made, and indeed he was, a good ploughman. 
He had learnt the trick with avidity, giving good money, solid 
silver shillings, that Hodge might rest while he worked. But, 
a ploughman, he would not have turned a clod without noticing 
its quality, nor sown a seed without considering its fitness, nor 
observed a rare plant without wondering why it grew in that posi- 
tion, nor looked up without drawing from the sky some sign of 
the weather or the hour. Much less would he have gazed down 
a woodland glade, flecked with sunlight, without perceiving its 

He was, indeed, both in practice and theory a lover of Nature ; 
breathing freely its open air, understanding its moods, asking 
nothing better than to be allowed to turn them to his purpose. 
Though he was no great reader, he read Wordsworth, and many 
a line was fixed in his memory and, on occasions when he was alone, 
rose to his lips. 

But he hated the desk and he hated figures. His thoughts 
as he stood behind the bank counter, or drummed his restless 
heels against the legs of his high stool, were far away in fallow 
and stubble, or where the trout, that he could tickle as to the 
nature born, lay under the caving bank. And to his father and 
to those who judged him by the bank standard, and felt for him 


a half scornful liking, he seemed to be an inefficient, a trifler. 
They said in Aldersbury that it was lucky for him that he had 
a father. 

Perhaps of all about him it was from that father that he could 
expect the least sympathy. Ovington was not only a banker, he 
was a banker to whom his business was everything. He had 
created it. It had made him. It was not in his eyes a mere 
adjunct, as in the eyes of one born in the purple and to the 
leisure which invites to the higher uses of wealth. Able he 
was, and according to his lights honourable ; but a narrow 
education had confined his views, and he saw in his money only 
the means to rise in the world and eventually to become one 
of the landed class which at that time monopolised all power and 
all influence, political as well as social. Such a man could only 
see in Clement a failure, a reversion to the yeoman type, and own 
with sorrow the irony of fortune that so often delights to hand 
on the sceptre of an Oliver to a ' Tumble-down-Dick.' 

Only from Betty, young and romantic, yet possessed of a 
woman's intuitive power of understanding others, could he look 
for any sympathy. And even Betty doubted while she loved 
doubted for she had also that other attribute of woman, a basis 
of sound common-sense. She admired her father. She saw more 
clearly than Clement what he had done for them and to what he 
was raising them. And she could not but grieve that Clement 
was not more like him, that Clement could not fall in with his 
wishes and devote himself to the attainment of the end for which 
the elder man had worked. She could enter into the father's 
disappointment as well as into the son's distaste. 

Meanwhile Clement, dreaming now of a girl's face, now of a 
new drill which he had seen that morning, now of the passing 
sights and sounds which would have escaped nine men out of ten 
but had a meaning for him, drew near to the town. He topped 
the last eminence, rode under the ancient oak, whence, tradition 
had it, a famous Welshman had watched the wreck of his fortunes 
on a pitched field ; finally he saw, rising from the river before him, 
the amphitheatre of dim lights that was the town. Descending 
he crossed the bridge. 

He sighed as he did so. For to him to pass from the silent 
lands and to enter the brawling streets where apprentices were 
putting up the shutters and beggars were raking among heaps of 
market garbage was to fall half way from the clouds. To right 
and left the inns were roaring drunken choruses, drabs stood in 


the mouths of the alleys dubbed in Aldersbury ' shuts ' trades- 
men were hastening to wet their profits at the Crown or the Gullet. 
When at last he heard the house door clang behind him, and 
breathed the confined air of the bank, redolent for him of 
ledgers and day-books, the fall was complete. He reached the 

If he had not done so, his sister's face when he entered the 
dining-room would have brought him to his level. 

' My eye and Betty Martin ! ' she said. ' But you've done it 
now, my lad ! ' 

' What's the matter ? ' 

' Father will tell you that. He's in his room and as black as 
thunder. He came home by the mail at three Sir Charles waiting, 
Mr. Acherley waiting, the bank full, no Clement ! You are in for 
it. You are to go to him the moment you come in.' 

He looked longingly at the table where supper awaited him. 
' What did he say ? ' he asked. 

* He said all I have said and d n besides. It's no good 
looking at the table, my lad. You must see him first and then 
I'll give you your supper.' 

' All right ! ' he replied, and he turned to the door with some- 
thing of a swagger. 

But Betty, whose moods were as changeable as the winds, 
and whose thoughts were much graver than her words, was at the 
door before him. She took him by the lapel of his coat and looked 
up in his face. * You won't forget that you're in fault, Clem, will 
you ? ' she said in a small voice. * Remember that if he had not 
worked there would be no walking about with a gun or a rod 
for you. And no looking at new drills, whatever they are, for I 
know that is what you had in your mind this morning. He's a 
good dad, Clem better than most. You won't forget that, will 

' But after all a man must ' 

' Suppose you forget that " after all" ' she said sagely. ' The 
truth is you have played truant, haven't you ? And you must 
take your medicine. Go and take it like a good boy. There 
are but three of us, Clem.' 

She knew how to appeal to him, and how to move him ; she 
knew that at bottom he was fond of his father. He nodded and 
went, knocked at his father's door and, tamed by his sister's words, 
took his scolding and it was a sharp scolding with patience. 
Things were going well with the banker, he had had his usual four 


glasses of port, and lie might not have spoken so sharply if the 
contrast between the idle and the industrious apprentice had not 
been thrust upon him that day with a force which had startled 
him. That little hint of a partnership had not been dropped 
without a pang. He was jealous for his son, and he spoke out. 

* If you think/ he said, tapping the ledger before him, to give 
point to his words, ' that because you've been to Cambridge this 
job is below you, you're mistaken, Clement. And if you think 
that you can do it in your spare time, you're still more mistaken. 
It's no easy task, I can tell you, to make a bank and keep a bank, 
and manage your neighbour's money as well as your own, and if 
you think it is, you're wrong. To make a hundred thousand 
pounds is a deal harder than to make Latin verses or to go tramp- 
ing the country on a market day with your gun ! That's not 
business ! That's not business, and once for all, young man, if 
you are not going to help me, I warn you that I must find some- 
one who will ! And I shall not have far to look ! ' 

' I'm afraid, sir, that I have not got a turn for it,' Clement 

' But what have you a turn for ? You shoot, but I'm hanged 
if you bring home much game. And you fish, but I suppose you 
give the fish away. And you're out of town, idling and doing God 
knows what, three days in the week ! No turn for it ? No will 
to do it, you mean. Do you ever think,' the banker continued, 
joining the fingers of his two hands as he sat back in his chair, 
and looking over them at the culprit, ' where you would be and 
what you would be doing if I had not toiled for you ? If I had 
not made the business at which you do not condescend to work ? 
I had to make my own way from the bottom. My grandfather 
was little better than a labourer, and but for what I've done you 
might be a clerk at a pound a week, and a bad clerk, too ! Or 
behind a shop-counter, if you liked it better. And if things were 
to go wrong with me for I'd have you remember that nothing 
in this world is quite safe that is where you may still be 1 
Still, my lad ! ' 

For the first time Clement looked his father fairly in the face 
and pleased him. * Well, sir,' he said, * if things go wrong I hope 
you won't find me wanting. Nor ungrateful for what you have 
done for us. I know how much it is. But I'm not Bourdillon, 
and I've not got his head for figures.' 

* You've not got his application. That's the mischief ! Your 
heart's not in it.' 


* Well, I don't know that it is,' Clement admitted. ' I suppose 

you couldn't ' he hesitated, a new hope kindled within him. 

He looked at his father doubtfully. 

' Couldn't what ? ' 

' Release me from the bank, sir ? And give me a a very 
small capital to ' 

' To go and idle upon ? J the banker exclaimed, and thumped 
the ledger in his indignation at an idea so preposterous. * No, 
by G d, I couldn't ! Pay you to go idling about the country, 
more like a dying duck in a thunder-storm, as I am told you do, 
than a man ! Find you capital and see you loiter your life away 
with your hands in your pockets ? No, I couldn't, my boy, and 
I would not if I could ! Capital, indeed ? Give you capital ? 
For what ? ' 

( I could take a farm/ sullenly, ' and I shouldn't idle. I can 
work hard enough when I like my work. And I know some- 
thing about farming, and I believe I could make it pay.' 

The other gasped. To the banker, with his mind on thousands, 
with his plans and hopes for the future, with his golden visions 
of Lombard Street and financial sway, to talk of a farm and of 
making it pay ! It seemed it seemed worse than lunacy. His 
son must be out of his mind. He stared at him, honestly won- 
dering. ' A farm ! 5 he ejaculated at last. ' And make it pay ? 
Go back to the clodhopping life your grandfather lived before 
you and from which I lifted you ? Peddle with pennies and sell 
ducks and chickens in the market ? Why why, I don't know 
what to say to you ? ' 

' I like an outdoor life,' Clement pleaded, his face scarlet. 

' Like a like a ' Ovington could find no word to express 
his feelings and with an effort he swallowed them down. ' Look 
here, Clement,' he said more mildly ; ' what's come to you ? 
What is it that is amiss with you ? Whatever it is you must 
straighten it out, bay ; there must be an end of this folly, for 
folly it is. Understand me, the day that you go out of the bank 
you go to stand on your own legs, without help from me. If you 
are prepared to do that ? ' 

' I don't say that I could at first.' 

' Then while I keep you I shall certainly do it on my own 
terms. So, if you please, I will hear no more of this. Go back 
to your desk, go back to your desk, sir, and do your duty. I sent 
you to Cambridge at Butler's suggestion, but I begin to fear that 
it was the biggest mistake of my life. I declare I never heard 


such nonsense except from a man in love. I suppose you are not 
in love, eh ? ' 

' No ! ' Clement cried angrily, and he went out. 
For he could not own to his father that he was in love ; in love 
with the brown earth, the woods, and the wide straggling hedge- 
rows, with the whispering wind and the music of the river on the 
shallows, with the silence and immensity of night. Had he done 
so, he would have spoken a language which his father did not and 
could not understand. And if he had gone a step farther and 
told him that he felt drawn to those who plodded up and down 
the wide stubbles, who cut and bound the thick hedge-rows, 
who wrought hand in hand with Nature day in and day out, whose 
lives were spent in an unending struggle with the soil until at 
last they sank and mingled with it if he had told him that he 
felt his kinship with those humble folk who had gone before him, 
he would only have mystified him, only have angered him the 

Yet so it was. And he could not change himself. 

He went slowly to his supper and to Betty, owning defeat ; 
acknowledging his father's strength of purpose, acknowledging 
his father's right, yet vexed at his own impotence. Life pulsed 
strongly within him. He longed to do something. He longed 
to battle, the wind in his teeth and the rain in his face, with some 
toil, some labour that would try his strength and task his muscles, 
and send him home at sunset weary and satisfied. Instead he 
saw before him an endless succession of days spent with his head 
in a ledger and his heels on the bar of his stool, while the sun shone 
in at the windows of the bank and the flies buzzed sleepily about 
him ; days arid and tedious, shared with no companion more 
interesting than Rodd, who, excellent fellow, was not amusing, 
or more congenial than Bourdillon, who patronised him when he 
was not using him. And in future he would have to be more 
punctual, more regular, more assiduous ! It was a dreary prospect. 

He ate his supper in morose silence until Betty, who had been 
quick to read the upshot of the interview in his face, came behind 
him and ruffled his hair. ' Good boy ! ' she whispered, leaning 
over him. ' His days shall be long in the land ! ' 

' I wish to heaven,' he answered, ' they were in the land ! I 
am sure they will be long enough in the bank ! ' 

But after that he recovered his temper. 

(To be continued.) 




IN the year of grace 1643 a line of forts was drawn hastily round 
the western suburbs of London by order of the Parliament, who 
were fearful of an attack of the Royalist troops. One of these 
forts or bastions was named ' The Mount,' and between 1700 and 
1750 a street was built of which the eastern extremity was Berkeley 
Square the western the old Parliamentary fortress whose name 
was preserved not only in the street itself, but in a celebrated 
coffee-house, ' The Mount/ much frequented by wits and men of 
letters. Many of Laurence Sterne's love letters to Mrs. Draper 
are dated from e The Mount,' for the creator of the immortal 
' Tristram Shandy ' lived his last days in apartments in Bond 
Street. Yet another ' Mount Coffee House ' (which by the way 
was really a tavern) was destined to be connected with a great 
name in literature. Late in the eighteenth or quite early in the 
nineteenth century, a certain John Westbrook made a comfortable 
fortune there, retiring to a private house in Chapel Street some years 
prior to 1811. John Westbrook was the father of two daughters, 
Eliza and Harriet, the former by many years the elder. In those 
days Clapham was famous for the selectness of its ' seminaries for 
young ladies/ and to a Clapham school the retired publican sent his 
younger daughter. The establishment, ' Church House,' kept by 
a Mrs. Fenning, stood on the edge of Clapham Common facing old 
Trinity Church. Among Harriet Westbrook's schoolfellows were 
the sisters of Percy Bysshe Shelley, and it was through them that 
the poet and Harriet became acquainted, and by means of this 
acquaintance and its developments the name of that ' common- 
place ' young woman (I doubt if she ever deserved the description) 
can hardly fail to be prominent for centuries to come in the story 
of English poetry. No portrait of Harriet Westbrook exists, but 
both Thomas Love Peacock and Helen Shelley have painted vivid 
word-pictures of her, which portray a young girl whose personal 
charm and attraction must have been great indeed. 

' All youthful freshness ; fairness ; bloom ; short of stature ; 
slightly and delicately formed ; light of foot and graceful in her 
movements ; with features regular, and well-proportioned ; her 


complexion bright and clear, the tint of the blush rose shining 
through the lily ; her abundant hair light brown, and beautiful 
as a poet's dream the tone of her voice was pleasant ; her speech 
the essence of frankness and cordiality her laugh spontaneous, 
hearty, and joyous.' 

It is certain that this beautiful child, only just sixteen, was 
unhappy and dissatisfied at home, and there can be no doubt that 
she confided her troubles to the young poet, giving him her love 
unasked. It has been said that only Shelley's native chivalry 
induced him to link his fate with hers, but surely there was more 
than chivalry in his regard for the younger daughter of John 
Westbrook ? Those lines * To Harriet ' 

' Whose is the love that, gleaming through the world, 
Wards off the poisonous arrow of its scorn ? 
Whose is the warm and partial praise, 
Virtue's most sweet reward ? 

Beneath whose looks did my reviving soul 
Riper in truth and virtuous daring grow ? 
Whose eyes have I gazed fondly on, 
And loved mankind the more ? 

Harriet ! on thine : thou wert my purer mind ; 
Thou wert the inspiration of my song ; 
Thine are these early wilding flowers, 
Though garlanded by me. 

Then press into thy breast this pledge of love, 

And know, though time may change and years may roll, 

Each flow'ret gathered in my heart 

It consecrates to thine ' 

show feelings far warmer and stronger than chivalry and affection 
for the lady who inspired them. It is, however, uncertain to 
which Harriet they were addressed, whether to his young wife, 
or to an earlier flame, his cousin Harriet Grove. Shelley eloped 
with Harriet Westbrook from her father's house early in September 
1811, and the young couple rushed off 'straight to Edinburgh,' 
where they became man and wife according to Scottish law. After- 
wards in York, in Dublin, in Wales, in Lynmouth, in the little 
cottage at Keswick, there can be no doubt that Harriet was not 
only an affectionate wife but a congenial companion to her 


husband, something more than the * agreeable and pretty ' of the 
biographers ; and had not Shelley, after their growing incom- 
patibility of character asserted itself, met with a more appealing 
personality in Mary Godwin he would probably not have parted 
from his first wife with such crushing suddenness. Certainly even 
as late as March 1814, if he contemplated the possibility of a 
separation, he was at least prepared to assure the legal status of 
herself and her child, for on the 24th of that month he and 
Harriet were re-married at St. George's, Hanover Square. Here 
is a copy of the church register. 

' Percy Bysshe Shelley and Harriet Shelley (formerly Harriet 
Westbrook, spinster, a minor) both of this Parish were re-married 
in this church by license (the parties having been already married 
to each other according to the rites and ceremonies of the Church 
of Scotland), in order to obviate all doubts, that have arisen, or 
shall or may arise, touching or concerning the validity of the 
aforesaid marriage, by and with the consent of John Westbrook, 
the natural and lawful father of the said minor, this twenty-fourth 
day of March in the year 1814, by me, Edward Williams, Curate. 
This marriage was solemnized between us Percy Bysshe Shelley, 
Harriet Shelley, formerly Harriet Westbrook in the presence of 
John Westbrook, John Stanley.' 

This re-marriage was probably instigated by Shelley's father- 
in-law (whose nick-name was ' Jew Westbrook '), who thus desired 
to make assurance doubly sure. 

Then in the following May the poet met Mary Godwin, now a 
girl of seventeen, whom he had not seen since she was a mere 
child and the poet found ' his affinity ' with a swiftness that 
recalls a humorous sketch of the late Artemus Ward ' Among 
the Free Lovers.' Harriet had already refused a reconciliation, 
and early in July we are told by Lady Shelley that 

' to her [Mary] as they met one eventful day in St. Pancras 
Churchyard, by her mother's grave, Bysshe, in burning words, 
poured forth the tale of his wild past how he had suffered, how 
he had been misled, and how if supported by her love he hoped 
in future years to enroll his name with the wise and good who 
had done battle for their fellow-men, and been true through all 
adverse storms to the cause of humanity unhesitatingly she put 
her hand in his, and linked her fortune with his own.' 

Whatever may be urged in Shelley's favour with regard to 


the arrangements he made for Harriet's future welfare, or the 
good advice he gave her as to her conduct, the fact remains that 
he practically deserted the young wife whose affections he had won 
and then, to all appearance, lost. The chivalry which had induced 
him to give her his earlier protection was not strong enough to 
prevent him from indulging his passion for another woman. For 
more than two years Harriet Shelley and her children must have led 
an unhappy and unsatisfied existence. Where she lived for the 
whole of that time it is impossible to say. Mr. Kegan Paul affirms 
definitely that * the immediate cause of her death was that her 
father's door was shut against her.' However that may be, early 
in November 1816 (probably the 9th) Harriet sought a refuge from 
all her troubles in the waters of the Serpentine. ' Thus in gloom, 
abasement, and despair, closed the young life that had been so 
charming in the bridal days of 1811.' Before her death she wrote 
a letter to her sister, which is, however, in part addressed to her 
husband. This letter made a somewhat mysterious re-appearance 
many years after the writer's death. It has, I believe, never been 
published, but there is, I have reason to think, no cause to doubt 
its authenticity. It is merely dated ' Sat eve,' and is as follows : 

this let 1 I shall be no more an inhabitant of this miserable world. 
Do not regret the loss of one who could never be anything but a 
source of vexation and misery to you all belonging to me. Too 
wretched to exert myself, lowered in the opinion of every one, 
why should I drag on a miserable existence ? embittered by past 
recollections and not one ray of hope to rest on for the future. 
The remembrance of all your kindness which I have so unworthily 
repaid has often made my heart ache. I know that you will forgive 
me because it is not in your nature to be unkind or severe to 
any. Dear amiable woman that I had never left you, oh ! that 
I had always taken your advice, I might have lived long and 
happy, but weak and unsteady have rushed on to my own 
destruction. I have not written to Bysshe. Oh no, what would 
it avail, my wishes or my prayers would not be attended to 
by him, and yet should he rec. this, perhaps he might grant 
my last request to let lanthe remain with you always. Dear 
lovely child, with you she will enjoy much happiness, with him 
none. My dear Bysshe, let me conjure you by the remembrance 
of our days of happiness to grant my last wish. Do not take 
your innocent child from Eliza who has been more than I 
have, who has watched over her with such unceasing care. Do 


not refuse my last request, I never could refuse you and if you 
had never left me I might have lived, but as it is I freely forgive 
you and may you enjoy that happiness which you have deprived 
me of. There is your beautiful boy, oh ! be careful of him, and 
his love may prove one day a rich reward. As you form his infant 
mind so will you reap the fruits hereafter. Now comes the sad 
task of saying farewell. Oh ! I must be quick. God bless and 
watch over you all. You dear Bysshe and you dear Eliza. May 
all happiness attend ye both is the last wish of her who loved ye 
more than all others. My children I dare not trust myself there, 
they are too young to regret me and ye will be kind to them for 
their own sakes more than mine. My parents do not regret me, 
I was unworthy of your love and care. Be happy all of ye, so shall 
my spirit find rest and forgiveness. God bless you is the last 
prayer of the unfortunate 


' To you my dear Sister I leave all my things ; as they more 
properly belong to you than anyone and you will preserve them 
for lanthe. God bless you both/ 

That is Harriet Shelley's farewell to her sister, her husband, 
her children, her parents, and to the world. Surely the judgment 
of the world will hardly x be that the woman who penned those 
lines was shallow, commonplace, heartless, or without intelligence ? 




THE civilised world was startled, the world of letters, the lovers 
of religion and of all that is venerable and beautiful in tradition 
and art were filled with indignation when, on April 1, 1921, 
Senator Lanciani, the eminent archaeologist, rose in his place in 
the Roman Senate to interrogate the Ministry as to the rumoured 
conversion of the Coliseum into a species of variety theatre and 

The answer was significant of the manner in which the dese- 
cration of Rome has been carried on by the civil and municipal 
authorities since the Eternal City fell under their dominion. 

The Minister of Public Instruction, Signer Croce, under whose 
jurisdiction the ancient monuments of Rome seem to lie, made 
the astounding answer, received with indignant laughter, that a 
five-years lease of the Coliseum had been granted in February 
to a theatrical company by an under-secretary, and without his 
knowledge. * There was doubtless some clause in the contract 
which laid it open to rescission, and in view of the protests and 
dissatisfaction the project evoked, he would undertake that it 
should go no further.' Well might Professor Lanciani express 
his wonder sua maraviglia that an act so abhorrent to the 
sanctity of the spot, ' its historical, artistic and traditional sanctity,' 
could have been effected by an underling without the knowledge 
or consent of his chief. Romans accustomed to the methods of 
their rulers, while drawing a breath of relief at the danger so 
narrowly escaped, gave thanks for the outburst of public feeling 
which had prevented the usual curt reply of the fait accompli, 
given so often to cut short the protests made against acts of a 
similar kind, effected in a similar manner. 

The dealings of the authorities with that ancient monument 
have been neither merciful nor tender. Nature had clothed its 
ruined walls with an exquisite veil of greenery : a flora so mar- 
vellous and interesting that books had been written on its four 
hundred varieties, a few of which were so rare, that their seeds 
are supposed to have come in ancient days in the cages of wild 
beasts from tropical countries. They have all been scraped away, 
the walls are bare, and more damage has been done to them by 

VOL. LIL NO. 307, N.S. 3 


dragging out the roots of the shrubs than might have happened 
naturally in the course of centuries. When we stand in the bare 
ugly interior, it is difficult to conjure up the picture of the old 
beauty we loved now so ruthlessly banished. 

We first find the name Coliseum in the writings of Bede, 
where he quotes a prophecy of Anglo-Saxon pilgrims : 

' While stands the Coliseum, Rome shall stand ; 
And when Rome falls, the world.' 

So did its grandeur and its associations impress our fore- 
fathers in those early days ; and, until 1872, on February 1 
for many centuries might the solemn procession be seen, winding 
from the church of San Clemente to the Coliseum, carrying, with 
every circumstance of pomp and splendour, the relics of St. Igna- 
tius (the disciple of St. John and companion of Polycarp) round 
the scene where on that date he had been devoured by lions the 
first of the martyrs of the Coliseum.. The spot where, shortly 
after his death, a hundred and fifteen Christians were shot down 
by arrows was marked until 1872 by a tall cross which was 
then demolished. 

The Via Crucis was set up in the arena of the Coliseum in 
1744, by a confraternity of laymen founded by Blessed Leonard 
of Porto Maurizio, and the procession of the Stations of the Cross 
took place every Friday afternoon at four o'clock a picturesque 
sight the members of the Confraternity in their grey gowns 
and hoods covering the face, leaving the eyes only visible, followed 
by a crowd chanting and praying at each station in turn ; and 
then a rousing sermon by a Capuchin monk from a pulpit on the 
left of the arena homely sermons, direct and vigorous and well 
suited to their auditory. The hallowed earth, soaked with the 
blood of martyrs, gave rise to the legend that Gregory the Great, 
replying to the request of the ambassadors of some king for relics 
for their sovereign, gave them a handful of earth from the Coli- 
seum ; and, on their objection that it was not a sufficiently worthy 
relic, pressing the earth between his hands, showed them the 
blood-stains on his palms from the soil saturated with the blood 
of martyrs. Pius V. urged those who sought for relics to gather 
up the dust of the arena of the Coliseum. These forms of ancient 
reverence and homage fell under the ban of the new rulers of 
Rome ; the Via Crucis was swept away in 1874, and with it the 
full legend of the Coliseum's religious and old-world associations 


was banished as completely as the tender veil of greenery which 
had spread across its ruins. Since the war a reaction has set 
in, and, for the past two years, upon Good Friday afternoon, a 
procession might be seen wending its way around the naked and 
despoiled arena, where once had stood the fourteen stations of 
the Via Crucis, and chants and hymns once more rose from the 
hallowed spot. 

A disquieting feature in the destruction and demolition of 
the beautiful and the aesthetic that has been pursued steadily in 
Rome for the last half-century is its consequent loss as a source 
of inspiration to the poet and the artist. Shelley has told us in 
immortal \v ords how his ' Prometheus Unbound ' was conceived : 

' This poem was chiefly written upon the mountainous ruins 
of the Baths of Caracalla, among the flowery glades and thickets 
of odoriferous blossoming trees which are extended in ever-wind- 
ing labyrinths upon its immense platforms and dizzy arches 
suspended in the air. The bright blue sky of Rome, and the 
effect of the vigorous awakening spring in that divinest climate, 
and the new life with which it drenches the spirit even to intoxi- 
cation, were the inspiration of this drama.' l 

Never again will a young poet find inspiration in that once 
enchanting spot ; in 1879 the odoriferous blossoming trees, the 
bushes of lentiscus and phillyrea, were scraped away as at the 
Coliseum, and, although some roses and fragrant plants have 
lately been replanted, the ruins remain bare and hideous in their 
nakedness ; the views that can be obtained of the Campagna 
from the top of the walls are all that is left of its intoxicating 
beauty. And who shall venture to divine or guess the future 
loss from this and so many another scene of havoc in the realms 
of art and poesy ? To have reduced two of the most famous 
ancient monuments of Rome, as nearly as they could, to the 
level and appearance of a disused factory or railway station, is 
symbolical of what the city has been made to suffer at the hands 
of its new rulers. 

What that passionate lover of old Rome, Augustus Hare, 
called ' the fury against trees which characterises most Italians, 5 
irreparable in destruction, is apparent on every hand. When 
the great villas were sold for building purposes, the stately groves 
of cypresses and ilexes which would have lent dignity and grandeur 

1 Preface to the Prometheus Unbound, 


and much needed shade to the meanest quarters, were all cut 
down. Gone are the immemorial ilexes, the finest in the world 
after those of Albano, which graced the gardens of the great Corsini 
Palace, and under whose shade Queen Christina of Sweden loved 
to preside over the meetings of the Arcadian Academy. To 
avert so great an injury to Rome Queen Margherita was moved 
to go in person to plead for their preservation : the municipality 
met her with the answer that she came too late, the trees had 
already been sold for firewood. 

Between 1875 and 1880 the gardens of the Farnesina were 
taken over by the municipality, and destroyed to make way for 
the attempt to change the course of the Tiber in pursuance of a 
scheme of Garibaldi's. It is said that grief at the outrage hastened 
the death of their owner, the Duke di Ripalda ; moreover, with 
the loss of those stately groves, Raphael's priceless frescoes in the 
Farnesina soon began to show signs of injury from the disturbance 
of the soil ; it was for some time doubtful whether, by an insensate 
experiment to please and flatter Garibaldi, the authorities had 
not ruined one of their most precious possessions. 

Cultured Italians raised their voices in unavailing protests : 

' It is true that the villas have disappeared/ wrote Professor 
Lanciani, ' that their magnificent ilexes have been burnt into 
charcoal, their great pines used for timber, their hills and dales 
cut away or filled up to a dead level, and their delicious shady 
avenues destroyed to make room for broad, straight, sun-beaten 
thoroughfares, yet no one seems to have gained by it. Those 
who sold and those who bought the grounds have failed alike in 
their speculations.' x 

The delightful lanes that led in every direction from the town, 
with their umbrella pines and ilexes, and tall cypresses standing 
out almost black against the sapphire sky, and where in the hottest 
hours of the day there was almost always a shady side of the road, 
have given place to immense boulevards, twice too wide for their 
traffic, where under the blazing sun clouds of white dust rise at 
every breath of wind and from the wheels of every vehicle to 
choke the few pedestrians. The beautiful Protestant cemetery 
narrowly escaped destruction because it stood in the way of a 
projected new road a road abandoned as not required almost 

1 Lanciani, The Ruins of Ancient Borne. 


as soon as it was begun, but not before the graveyard was partly 
destroyed and the beautiful old wall broken down. 

In lieu of all the beautiful vegetation they have cut down, 
the municipal authorities have set here and there in the busiest 
thoroughfares the comical makeshift of a small round plot of 
earth, with a palm tree in the centre, a cactus or two and a few 
dusty shrubs, surrounded by the meanest of iron railings. They 
made another small concession when they allowed the carrying 
out of Signor Giacomo Boni's design to replant on classic sites 
the flowers most loved by the ancients : laurels and roses, 
pomegranates, oleanders, and myrtles. 

The masters of neo-regal Rome have not been more happily 
inspired in what they have erected than in what they have pulled 
down. When their clumsy and ignorant schemes for turning 
Rome into a miniature Paris or Chicago broke upon the world, 
the Times put into words the regret and the indignation filling 
the breasts of all lovers of the Eternal City, summing up its indict- 
ment in a leading article of January 10, 1888 : 

* Nothing so pretentious, commonplace, unspiritual and dull 
has ever been produced as neo-regal Rome. In addition to a 
display of poverty of artistic ideas almost amounting to genius, 
the Roman municipality is, moreover, acknowledged to have set 
at defiance all the rules of recent sanitary science in a manner 
incomparably its own/ 

And again : 

' What the municipality has done is to make it impossible, 
without the intervention of a great earthquake, that it ever should 
be anything but the most absurd of all the cheap imitations of 

The idea never seems to have crossed the minds of the de- 
stroyers of so much that was precious in the architecture of the 
town which had become their prey, that the rulers of a great and 
ancient city are the custodians of its treasures, and bound to 
pass them on, as intact as may be, to future generations of its 
citizens. Far from this, they have carried on their iconoclastic 
work with stubborn energy ; undeterred and undisturbed by the 
protests and objurgations, the petitions and sarcasms of the 
cultured men of their own race, and the critics and lovers of art 
from all parts of the world. Prayers and curses slipped over their 
triple covering of arrogance, ignorance, and the self -satisfied exercise 


of new-found power, like water over a duck's back, and for the first 
forty years of United Italy the work went on without a break, 
and even more effectually than that of the Goths and Vandals on 
Ancient Rome. 

To make room for the monstrous Palazzo di Giustizia a number 
of picturesque and interesting buildings were pulled down between 
St. Peter's and the Tiber ; the delicate green lines of the Prati 
di Castello, which up to 1880 extended from St. Peter's to the 
then noble cypresses of the Piazza del Popolo, have been effaced : 
one of the most interesting views in the world has been spoiled 
and replaced by a straight road of stucco buildings in the worst 
possible style of modern Italian architecture. The Minister o 
delle Finanze is as great an eye-sore as the Giustizia : ' The Roman 
curses it/ wrote Marion Crawford, ' for the millions it cost ; but 
the stranger looks, smiles, and passes by.' Zola, in his * Rome,' 
derides its gigantic mass, a cyclopean cube conceived * en un jour 
d'orgueil par la folie de la pierre.' It is indeed little short of 
miraculous that monuments of such dimensions the Finanze 
is three hundred yards long and high in proportion should be 
so entirely devoid of the slightest appearance of solidity or 
grandeur, proving once again that poverty of artistic feeling can 
only produce poverty and meanness of effect on however grand 
a scale. 

The vulgar and pretentious square, the Piazza delT Indepen- 
danza, with its straggling fountain in the centre which looks at 
once meagre and overgrown, was made, as usual, at the wanton 
sacrifice of much that was picturesque and beautiful ; and so 
hasty and careless was its construction, that many of its houses 
tumbled down before they were finished, a collapse of this sort 
killing fifty workmen in 1890. Hare's comment is not exagger- 
ated when he says : ' There is not a single point in this entirely 
modern Rome which calls for anything but contempt. Hastily 
run up, with the worst material, and by unskilled workmen, its 
buildings luckily seem destined to perish within a century.' 
Even when he wrote, his prophecy had begun its fulfilment : 
some of the houses built on the site of the beautiful Villa Wolskon- 
ski already showed cracks in the wretched yellow- washed stucco, 
where the masonry was parting as the hollow foundations subsided, 
and walls on which the paint was almost fresh had to be shored 
up with beams. Parts of neo-regal Rome are likely to stand more 
and more in need of restoration. 


In great things as in little the taste and judgment of the 
renovators of the town have been unhappy and at fault ; few 
things escape their notice : at the Convent of Sant' Onofrio on 
the Janiculum, the room in which Tasso died, and which had 
been left untouched till then, was whitewashed all over in 1892. 
At the same time they ruined the effect of Beltraffio's beautiful 
fresco on the second floor, by having a gaudy fresco painted under- 
neath it. 

To rob the mighty Castel Sant' Angelo of something of its 
grandeur might have been the purpose of the destruction of its 
great projecting bastions, above which rose its stately mass with 
the solitary cypress cutting darkly against the sky. The fine papal 
escutcheon that lent its touch of ornament and distinction to 
the great grey front has been chipped off seemingly in puerile 
discontent, as too reminiscent of the days of papal sovereignty. 
The beautiful banks of the Tiber, once green with brilliant fennel 
and spurrey, have suffered change, and the river has been made 
a mere canal between banks of masonry ; while the bridge that 
crosses it in front of the Castle has been ruthlessly mutilated. Here 
again, before this worst of the improvements of Rome, the world 
protested in vain. The bridge has entirely lost its original character, 
as the Builder pointed out in 1892 : 

' Besides having neither noticed nor respected any part of the 
characteristic and noble aspects of the sacred river, the engineers 
of the Tiber have not known how to avail themselves of that 
mastery of the water-way which Roman monuments show in the 
case of bridges. The Bridge of Sant' Angelo was one of those 

The fountains were one of the most characteristic and beautiful 
features of Rome, flinging their sparkling jets joyously against 
the sky, and gushing in tumultuous noisy masses from their many 
mouths the great gift of pure refreshing water poured out un- 
stintedly in over-abundant measure. Many have been done away 
with ; some of the rest, like the famous fountain of Trevi, with 
its romantic legend, have been deprived of part of their water. 
Hardly a better example of inept blundering has been achieved 
than the removal of the beautiful fountain of Ponte Sisto opposite 
the quaint old Via Giulia, to another, perfectly unsuitable site 
in one of the new bare and ugly quarters. Its proportions were 
perfect in the place for which it had been designed ; and now its 


charm is gone ; lost not only to one of the few streets which the 
hand of the destroyer has hitherto spared, but also to the spot 
where it has been re-erected, and where it is wholly inharmonious 
and out of place. 

When the interesting Tower of Pope Nicholas V. by the Castel 
Sant' Angelo was doomed in 1890, all Europe united in entreating 
that it might be spared, and one of the remaining ornaments of 
the city left to abut upon the Tiber. Remonstrance was, as 
usual, in vain, and the ugly road was driven in front of the Castle ; 
the claims of ancient poetry and beauty the heritage of the past 
ignored. There was another beautiful old Tower that of 
Paul II., which so grandly filled the end of the Corso, and was its 
most noble ornament. It was considered to stand in the way 
of the new yet unfinished Monument of King Victor Emmanuel, 
and had to go. With it were sacrificed the Gothic Cloisters and 
the Convent of Ara Coeli, the residence of the General of the 
Franciscans ever since 1252, when the original Benedictine Convent 
was given to the Order by Pope Innocent IV. 

In order that Victor Emmanuel's monument might be unin- 
terruptedly seen from the other end of his long Corso, the beau- 
tiful loggia that formed a wing of the great historic palace of the 
Piazza Venezia has been removed ; the great square has been 
deprived of its charm by architects to whom the rectilinear and 
the rectangular would seem to have become the quest and object, 
as their ideal of the true line of beauty. The monument itself, 
with its gaudy monster groups of gilt statuary and glaring white 
colonnades, seems to have gathered up into itself and then expressed 
all the vanity and supercilious conceit, all the bad taste and degen- 
erate artistic instinct of which the modern Italian mind was capable. 
Reminiscent as it is of a pantomime transformation scene, of a 
child's dream of a Brobdingnagian twelfth-cake, or of some ' White 
City ' in a World's Fair, there could hardly have been found a 
more unfitted site for its erection than the Capitoline Hill. And 
the pity of it, the unhappy augury for the future is that Young 
Italy can hardly find words to express his admiration and delight 
at the vast achievement : ' grandiose,' ' sublime,' fail to convey 
his pride and satisfaction when extolling its beauty and its merits. 

So the work of destruction went on decade after decade, 
slackening a little as time went on and it had less to feed on, 
until the outbreak of the war. Then, some of the Municipality's 
great schemes, including the erection of a monster glass gallery, 


even larger than the one which disfigures the great square of 
Milan, were perforce abandoned for lack of funds. It is devoutly 
to be wished that before the authorities find themselves rich 
enough to resume their labours, the timid reaction which has 
already begun may accentuate itself, and a sense of shame 
prevent further outrages on the beauty of the City of which they 
are the guardians and protectors. The successful outcry against 
the desecration of the Coliseum was of good augury, and so are 
the persistent rumours and proposals for the establishment of 
diplomatic relations between the Quirinal and the Vatican, which 
are being tentatively pursued at the present time by certain 
political parties and in the Press. 

The pained and indignant surprise with which the lover of 
Rome marks this improving away of its unique aspect and beauty 
is enhanced if he is old enough to remember the town before 1870. 
Then, as in a golden haze, he sees again the view from the Pincio, 
unmarred by the loss of its trees and by the presence of the great 
white buildings of the ' Giustizia ' and Victor Emmanuel monu- 
ment, which jar so crudely with the soft mellow tones of russet 
and brown and tawny orange on the time-worn cupolas and roofs, 
the towers and old walls, from which the great dome of St. Peter's 
rose in all its lofty splendour. He recalls the mingled courtliness 
and simplicity of its society, and sees again the white figure and 
ruddy good-natured face of Pio Nono, as he drives in his old- 
fashioned chariot, accepting a roll of white paper held up to the 
carriage window by some poor petitioner, or blessing a kneeling 
woman and her children. The chariots of the Cardinals are 
little less old-fashioned and elaborate than that of the Pope, and 
the two old footmen hanging on behind step down and follow 
their red-robed master when he takes his evening stroll upon 
the Pincio ; their liveries smack of the eighteenth century ; 
they are always white-haired, and never a match in height. 
As it is the custom for passers-by to salute a Cardinal, the 
salute is returned not only by His Eminence with a touch of his 
hat, but with great elaboration by the two servants, their cocked 
hats describing a fine semicircle. The pretty scene lives now 
only in the memory of a few, and on the canvas of Heilbuth's 
exquisite pictures he who may be called the painter in ordinary 
to the Sacred College in the last days of the Temporal Power. 
As the Baths of Caracalla will never again inspire a poet, so the 
black-cassocked Cardinals in their black broughams drawn by two 


long-tailed black horses, their black-liveried servants, will never 
again inspire the brush of a painter. 

If the beauty and picturesqueness of old Rome have been 
trampled out of sight, except in quiet bye-streets and places too 
humble or obscure to have attracted attention, there is still a 
domain the spiritual and traditional where the efforts of the 
spoilers have not prevailed. The strong current may have been 
partly driven underground, the great convents destroyed or 
turned into a post-office or barracks, the churches may have 
been yellow-washed and the exquisite piazzas in front of them 
disfigured the beauty and pomp of ceremonial live unaltered 
within their walls. The light and splendour of colour and pageant, 
the play of sunshine and shadow catch the glow of gold and crim- 
son and purple and silver, as solemn processions no longer able 
to cross its portals move in stately musical cadence round a 
great Basilica to the chant of many voices, the magnificent 
pealings of its ancient bells, through the dense mass of kneeling 

Wherever a convent garden, or part of it, has been spared, 
we find a scene of unequalled beauty ; as at San Cosimato in 
the Trastevere. When we have entered, from the bare gravelled 
place which, until 1886, was a lovely lawn with noble elm trees 
opposite the church, we are in the ancient Convent of the Poor 
Clares, now a hospice for old men and women under the care of 
nuns. It was centuries old when the Poor Clares first came to 
it, for the outer cloisters have the graceful round-headed arches 
of the tenth century, and its arcades retain many fine fragments 
of sculpture and inscriptions. Orange and lemon trees, graceful 
pepper trees stand out against the background of grey wall, and 
a multitude of fragrant flowers and herbs, with a dark pool of 
lilies in the centre, complete the fascinating picture ; for here 
time has been allowed to spare the relics of the past, and to clothe 
and adorn them throughout the seasons with the tender beauties 
of nature, fostered with pious and skilful husbandry. 

There is another realm of beauty rich and varied the tra- 
ditionary lore of Rome ; its outward manifestations may have 
ceased, but its gates open readily to those who come to search 
its secrets, and contemplate its treasures, accepting the simple 
witness of the past, lending ear to the lovely legends which the 
devotion of centuries has spun around the objects of its cult and 
reverence. Apart from the great festas of the year, commemo- 


rated with all Christendom, Rome still celebrates with jubilation 
the anniversaries of certain of its most beloved citizens, of miracu- 
lous events in its unforgettable past. The month of March has 
two such dates, the 9th and the 16th, and those are happy 
who can lose themselves for awhile in retracing the past, and 
witnessing its grateful and affectionate celebration : the flavour 
of bygone days mingles with the incense in the swinging censers, 
the vision of a beautiful soul rises above the treasured relics of 
its earthly habitation. 

Much has been written of the great lady, Francesca, wife of 
the noble and wealthy lord Ponziani, who died in 1440, and whose 
name, as Santa Francesca Romana, is held so dear and sacred in 
the memory of her fellow citizens, but it well bears recalling for 
its tender beauty, as her festa returns in the springtime of the 
year. The gloomy Ponziani palace in the Trastevere is thrown 
open on the 9th of March in her honour the only day on which 
women are admitted within its walls, for it is now a house of retreat 
for young men and boys under the care of a religious order 
a destiny which would have rejoiced the heart of her whose life 
was dedicated to the service of her neighbours, and whose good 
works among the poor are still carried on by Oblates, a congre- 
gation she founded of women drawn entirely from the noble 
families of Rome, who labour for their own sanctification and that 
of their fellow men bound by no vows, and free to leave the 
Convent of the Tor de Specchi at their pleasure, according to the 
rule of their foundress. 

Donna Francesca was eminently a domestic and practical 
saint, devoted above all things to the duties of her station. Among 
the many exquisite legends that cluster round her name are those 
that tell of the humility and charity that led her to go disguised to 
her vineyard beyond the gate of San Paolo, to pick up faggots, 
which she would carry on her head to her poor clients in the bitter 
cold of winter ; or how, in a time of famine, she had given away 
all the meal in the house, and yet the granary was found to be 
full when, the lady being denounced to her lord as having wasted 
his substance, he went in anger to examine his stores. 

The most characteristic legend bears the stamp of authority, 
as it is mentioned in the Acts of her Canonisation. Though 
unwearied in her prayers, she was wont to say that ' a wife and 
a mother, when called upon, must quit her God at the altar, and 
find Him in her household duties.' Having been called away 


four times by her husband while reading the verses, ' Tenuisti 
manum dexteram meam, et in voluntate tua deduxisti me, et cum 
gloria suscepisti me,' 1 she found, on returning the fifth time to her 
book, the words of the sentence written in letters of gold. Her 
attribute is therefore an angel holding a book the Office of the 
B.V.M. open at the page where the verses occur. 

Except for a few lower rooms, which have been panelled, the 
Palazzo Ponziani must have changed very little since the Middle 
Ages ; the walls of solid masonry are unplastered, the heavy 
beams, roughly daubed with paint, the stone or tiled floors and 
staircases, the very doors, stout enough to stand a siege, speak 
of the solidity and strength of the building which time has mel- 
lowed, century by century, into deeper hues of grey and black. 
To-day curtains of crimson fringed with gold are draped over the 
open doors ; the crowd presses up and on,' past the little gilt 
statue of her angel with the open book, to the room on the first 
floor in which Francesca died, now a chapel sumptuously deco- 
rated, bright with tapers, its bare walls covered with velvet and gold. 

From dawn to midday priests succeed each other at the altar, 
and the stream of worshippers ebbs and flows, coming to their 
own Francesca Romana with their troubles and sorrows and sins, 
as they came to the great lady Ponziani more than four centuries 
ago. The devout pilgrim, following the saint's footsteps, will go 
from the Palazzo where she spent her married life, to the Convent 
of the Oblates in the Via Tor de Specchi, which she founded, and 
where she established herself after her husband was dead, and her 
children settled in life. The little Piazza is one of the few corners 
of Rome not yet improved away, and where may still be found, 
seated at their tables, in the quietest corners of the square, a couple 
of public letter-writers, always with an earnest client, man or 
woman, pouring into their ear the contents of the letter he or 
she feels, or is, incapable of writing. The name Tor de Specchi 
carries us back to the days of pagan Rome, as it very possibly 
commemorates the legend of the necromancer Virgilos, and his 
magic tower, lined with mirrors. 

Grim and sombre as is the Palazzo Ponziani, so the Convent of 
the Oblates is full of light and movement and exquisite beauty 
during the eight days when the nuns throw it open to the public, 
that all who choose may rejoice with them in the glory of their 
foundress. The building is infinitely old, but it has always been 
cared for and loved since they came to it by these noble damsels, 

1 Ps. Irxiii. 23, 24. 


daughters of St. Frances, who move about its courts and cloisters 
in the picturesque black habit and small white muslin coif which 
have never varied since her day. During the Octave of the feast 
the pavements are strewn with box, the Great Hall, entirely 
painted in fresco with the life of the saint, glows with colour 
between the fresh green and cool arcades of the garden and the 
cloisters seen through the bays on either side. They are a mass 
of spring flowers ; the sunlight touches the oranges and lemons 
into gold, and catches the play of a fountain. In the great vaulted 
kitchen we find the massive copper utensils of her day, bright 
as polished mirrors and still in use ; and, on a table apart, filled 
with flowers in honour of the day, the large earthenware bowl 
in which she prepared ointments for the poor who were fain 
to believe that the touch of her hands was more healing to their 
sores and wounds than the unguents she spread upon them. 

In the chapel, rich with marble and precious stones, eloquent 
preachers deliver the panegyric of the saint, and lecture on her 
life. Her little oratory and her cell, black with age but now 
covered with rich hangings, are held in such reverence by the nuns, 
that the narrow stair by which their foundress went up and down 
on her ceaseless errands of charity, is never used by them, save 
on their knees. Here are kept mementoes and relics of her life. 
The reverence of centuries seems to cling round the little pink 
silk shoes and the veil she wore at her wedding, as well as round 
the rough black habit and her veil as a nun, on her rare books 
and breviary. Here they are as she last used them 480 years ago. 

Francesca lived at the Tor de Specchi till the close of her 
life, but she did not die there. True to her principle that a wife 
or a mother's first care was due to husband or children, on hearing 
that her eldest son, who had succeeded his father at the Palazzo 
Ponziani, was ill with fever, she went to nurse him. He recovered, 
but she caught the fever and died after a few days' illness. She 
was buried in the family vault in the Church of Sta. Maria Nuova 
the portico of an ancient temple of Venus between the Forum and 
the Coliseum, turned into a Christian church by Pope Leo IV. in 
850, and rebuilt, after its destruction by fire in 1216, by Hono- 
rius III. At her Canonisation by Pope Paul V. in 1608, the 
title was changed to that of Sta. Francesca Romana. At the 
same time, her incorrupt body was removed from the vault, and 
placed in a crystal shrine under the high altar. There is an in- 
effable distinction about the figure of this great lady, this great 
saint in her black habit and the soft draperies of her veil. The 


withered face, with which death has dealt with such mysterious 
kindness, in its calm majesty and peace, holds the eye spell-bound, 
and it is not hard to understand the faith of those who come 
during this Octave to ask her intercession and her prayers. 

The/esto on March 16th in the Palazzo Massimo delle Colonne 
does not commemorate a long lifetime of sanctity and devotion, 
but one startling miraculous event on that day in the year 1583, 
when Filippo Neri, the Apostle of Rome, like a second Elijah, 
raised from death to life the son of his friend Fabrizio, prince of 
the house of Massimo, one of the most ancient and illustrious in 
Rome. ' Is it true/ abruptly asked Napoleon I. of the Massimo 
of the time, 'that you are descended from the dictator Fabius 
Maximus ? ' ' I have no written proof, but it has been a tradition 
in our family for more than a thousand years.' 

Young Paul Massimo was in his fourteenth year, and like 
many other boys in Rome, devoted to St. Philip, spending as much 
time in his company, it was said, as with his own family. After 
a long and wearisome fever, lasting sixty-five days, borne with 
great patience, and cheered by the daily visits of his friend, who 
was also his confessor, the boy died in the early morning of the 
March 16th. A messenger had been sent to Philip as soon as death 
appeared imminent, but some time was lost in rinding him, and 
when he arrived at the palace he was met by Fabrizio, who had 
himself closed his son's eyes, with the words : ' Father, Paul is 
dead.' ' Why did you not send for me sooner ? ' asked the other, 
as he hurried into the room. The boy's governante, Francesca, had 
meanwhile brought water and a suit of clothes to lay him out ; 
his stepmother, Violante Santa Croce, stood at the head of the bed, 
and there were present his tutor, his doctor, his little sisters, and 
several servants. 

The saint prostrated himself at the boy's feet, with his face 
to the ground, in earnest prayer ; then, rising, sprinkled him with 
holy water, breathed in his face, and, placing his hand on his 
forehead, called him twice ' Paul, Paul.' As if awaking from 
sleep the boy opened his eyes and answered, * Oh, father.' Philip 
put a crucifix in his hand, and they conversed for about half an 
hour about his mother, Lavinia, who had been dead eight years, 
and his sister Giulia, a nun at the Tor de Specchi, who had died 
the previous January. His voice was clear and sonorous, his 
movements free, the pallor of death had given place to the hues 
of perfect health, and he looked as if he had never been ill. ' Father, 


I had forgotten a sin,' he suddenly said, upon which the Prince 
and the other persons retired, and Philip heard his confession. 
What follows we find in Prince Massimo's written declaration. 
When the awed witnesses had returned they heard the following 
dialogue : 

' " Didst thou die willingly ? " " Yes," and the boy added that 
he wished to go and see his mother and sister in Paradise. Then 
the blessed father, in my presence, gave him his benediction, 
and extended his hand over the forehead of the said Paul, saying : 
" Go, for thou art blessed, and pray God for me." As soon as 
these words were uttered, the boy sank back into Francesca's 
arms and with a placid countenance .... gently returned to 

Except in war time, the event has been celebrated year by 
year in that grand old palace, the scene of many crimes, and of 
this miracle. Paul Massimo's death-chamber was at once con- 
verted into a chapel, the chief altar on the spot where stood his 
bed ; a silver statuette of St. Philip stands above it, and of the 
two side altars, one is dedicated to the Madonna, the other to Sta. 
Francesca Romana, the whole rich with precious marbles and 
paintings, intaglios of pietra-dura, agate and jasper. Until 1870, 
many Popes had visited the chapel and enriched it with Indul- 
gences and relics. Gregory XIV. was there on March 16, 1839, 
and raised it to the rank of a public church : Pius IX. granted 
it the privilege of a Messa Propria. 

The whole day long the palace is open to the public : the crowd 
is a less homely one than at Sta. Francesca Romana, for it consists 
chiefly of the elite of Roman society with a mixture, of course, of 
the populace ; for nowhere do all ranks mingle in equality as in 
an Italian church. 

Time has wrought its changes, even on this old-world celebra- 
tion. Before the Great War it was a scene of some splendour : the 
magnificent hall-porter with his heavy silver chain and badge 
and his seven-foot halberd guarded the entrance lodge surrounded 
by his admirers ; tall footmen in the Massimo livery of dove- 
colour and crimson, profusely laced, lined the staircases and 
galleries. Now a dapper chauffeur stands in the lodge, and plain- 
clothes waiters and a carabiniere or two are there to marshal the 
visitors. The family is in mourning for its chief, but it is doubtful 
whether the old fashions will ever return again. 

M. H. 




KENNETH DREWS had known Mrs. Bradley for more than five 
years before she so wonderfully ' came into his life.' He could re- 
member, most fortunately, his first sight of her. He had been 
on his afternoon round, visiting some of his ( club ' patients out 
towards Melford, and he was driving home in that mood of 
depression which had even then begun to influence his attitude 
towards life. It had been a dull day in early November, with 
occasional intervals of cold, sleety rain, and the whole flat country 
around Bennington had spoken to him of the dreariness and 
monotony of his existence. He had turned his face towards the 
town, hating his profession, reflecting on the unquestionable facts 
that he was overworked and underpaid, that his time was never 
his own at any hour of the night he might be summoned to take 
up again the weary round of his professional duties and that, 
finally and most cogently, his home life offered no relief of happiness, 
even of contentment, to dissipate for a time the gloom of his 

It seemed to him afterwards that that typical drive of his, 
one of a hundred such that had differed in no essential particular, 
had held some peculiar quality that had impressed itself on his 
memory. He remembered, so he told Eva Bradley all those years 
later, how he had come to the black realisation of his failure as 
a man, and how he had in a fit of rare anger slashed at the grey 
mare, and had then discovered that she was going lame again in 
the near foreleg another cause for despair, inasmuch as it por- 
tended long winter rides on a bicycle over those terrible clay roads 
about Bennington. 

' I really think, 5 Drews confessed, ' that at that moment I 
touched the depths of despair.' ' And then,' he always continued, 
c I saw you.' 

But he had gilded the whole incident in retrospect, had come 
to relate it to all the glory that had come five years afterwards, 


and had lost his sense of the dull aspect that the real occurrence 
had presented. 

The plain facts and the impression they had made upon him 
had been no matter for romance at the time. 

He had almost reached the outskirts of Bennington when he 
had unwarrantably thrashed the grey mare, and he slowed her 
down to the merest amble when he made that confounded dis- 
covery of her lameness. Drews was not a man to let his passion 
dominate him ; the moment that new trouble approached, he met 
it with that resigned patience with which he had met all his 
miseries. Another man might have slashed the unoffending mare 
again, in the fury of his despair ; Drews took measures, when it 
was too late to stave off the threatened evil. 

So it chanced that he came into town on the Melford road 
at little more than a walk, and had plenty of time to notice that 
the new tenants were moving into ' The Laurels,' the only house 
of any importance on that side of Bennington. 

And Mrs. Bradley had been at the front gate. She had had 
her hat and furs on, and she had looked up at Drews as he passed 
with the ghost of a frown on her pale face. 

He made much of that first look of hers when he recalled the 
incidents of the miraculous afternoon, but he never confessed 
probably he had completely forgotten that the chief thought in 
his mind at the time was a speculation as to whether the Bradleys 
were well off, and the hope that Mrs. Bradley might require his 
professional services. He had instantly diagnosed her as ' delicate/ 
and had found confirmation in his regard of her eldest daughter 
the thin-legged, dark-eyed Nora, a child of nine years old, then 
who had come out into the front garden as he passed. 

This was all the circumstance of their first meeting, but it was 
wonderfully lighted when they recalled it, and it would seem as 
if some strange quality of recognition must have lifted it from the 
routine of Drews' monotonous round, or why should the scene 
have remained with him so clearly after five years ? 

The interval offered no other such bright moments of sudden 
consciousness to stand out as salient events in their movement 
towards the inevitable. They remembered occasions the Vicarage 
garden party, the concert in the town hall, or the Jubilee sports at 
which they acknowledged that they must have met ; but the sheer 
fact of any encounter had been submerged in the wide lake of other, 
apparently, more urgent impressions. He had figured to her as 
VOL. LII. NO. 307, N.S. 4 


the doctor whose services she hoped that she might not require, 
and to him she had seemed to be no more than the unfortunate 
wife of that man, Philip Bradley. 

Drews, indeed, had small excuse for having taken so little 
notice of her, since her husband had provided Bennington with 
more subject for discussion than it had had since the classic affair 
of the junior curate and Mrs. Erskine. But Drews was naturally 
an unobservant man, little interested in gossip or in the wonderful 
underlying stimulus of life, and he had not had the curiosity 
specially to observe the wife of the man who was reputed, by 
common exaggeration, a hard drinker and evil liver. 

And in all those five years there had been no call for him at 
* The Laurels.' His hopeful diagnosis had been belied by the 
facts. Neither Mrs. Bradley nor either of her little daughters 
had needed medical advice, and the traditional luck of the drunkard 
stayed with her husband until he met with the accident that was 
to affect so remarkably the interests of three lives. 

That interval marked, perhaps, the dullest period of all 
Kenneth Drews' dull existence. He was coming within sight of 
fifty, and growing used to the realisation of his failure. The 
thought no longer stirred him to slash the mare, nor to any more 
vigorous acknowledgment of the realisation than a shrug of the 
shoulders and a grim smile. He would go on to the end, he sup- 
posed, just as he was going now : on a precarious income that 
barely sufficed to keep him out of debt ; with no hope for the 
future or joy in the past ; bound irrevocably by conventional 
chains to the nonentity of a wife between whom and himself there 
had been no pretence of anything but a tepid forbearance for more 
than a decade. 

He accepted it all as a part of the deadly scheme of life until 
the star fell. 


It was, strangely enough, Philip Bradley who so described the 
harbinger, but there was no single piece of corroborative evidence 
to uphold his statement ; and the Vicar, who was an ardent amateur 
of astronomy, declared that he was taking observations that night 
and must have seen any meteor of such importance as that which 
figured in Bradley's story. Moreover, neither the sufferer's wife 
nor his doctor believed in that star until afterwards. Drews' 


conversion took nearly a fortnight, but he was in an unduly 
prejudiced condition of mind when he first heard the story. 

He was called up after midnight, a thing to which he had never 
become reconciled, by a youth of sixteen, whose word Drews 
doubted. He leaned out of the window and parleyed not too 

' Mr. Bradley at " The Laurels," ' shouted the boy, in answer 
to the curt, half -incredulous ' Who d'ye say ? Who ? ' that was 
snapped at him. He was full of the enthusiasms and excitements 
that burn the heart of youth, and fresh from the scene of the 
tragedy as it seemed to him he expected an instant response 
to his enormous tidings, some show of sympathetic eagerness not 
less than his own. 

* He's broken his leg/ he said, and then, searching his mind 
for some more startling truth, he added, * and his head. At least, 
he's stunned. I was to say you were to come at once.' 

' Oh ! very well, very well. I'll come,' returned Drews. ( You 
needn't wait.' ' The Laurels ' was nearly a mile from his own 
house, and it was raining. 

It took him a quarter of an hour to dress and put his instru- 
ments together, but when he came out into the night he found 
the messenger still waiting. ' I thought I'd better,' was the only 
explanation he vouchsafed ; but it was sufficient to show Drews 
that he was suspected of malingering. The circumstances did not 
predispose him to bend a sympathetic ear to the story of Philip 
Bradley, fully recovered from his unconsciousness by the time 
the doctor arrived, accompanied by the faithful messenger, who 
evidently had intended to see that there should be no backsliding 
he was, it appeared, a nephew of the Bradleys, and was staying 
with them for his Christmas holidays. 

Drews' first sight of the inside of ' The Laurels ' came as a 
surprise to him he had not anticipated so well-furnished a house 
and it induced in him a sudden sense of his own shabbiness. 

Mrs. Bradley met him in the hall they counted it, later, as 
their second ' real meeting,' those other possible occasions were of 
such doubtful value. She had had no time to change the long 
white wrapper she had hastily flung about herself when the news 
had been brought, and her hair hung in a long thick plait to her 
waist. She looked astonishingly young and slender, and her dark 
eyes were full of a wonderful sadness and fear. 

' My husband has had a serious accident,' she said. * He was 


thrown out of the dog-cart, just at the gate here. The horse was 
frightened by. . . .' She hesitated, and a faint colour pulsed in 
her face for a moment. ' The horse took fright at something,' 
she concluded though she often denied that she ever doubted the 
coming of the star. 

The patient in the dining-room, stretched out full length on 
the hearthrug and holding his thigh tightly with two strong hands, 
was not so reticent. He had unquestionably been sobered by 
pain and shock, but he was redolent of whiskey, and something 
of the intoxication still lingered about him. He began to talk 
eagerly directly the doctor entered the room. 

' Most amazing thing, doctor,' he said, and entered at once into 
a description of the unprecedented meteor that had trailed a smear 
of fire across the sky and burst with a loud report, almost, as it 
seemed, within a few yards of ' The Laurels ' gate enough surely 
to startle any horse. 

His wife interposed to stem the flood of his explanation. Drews 
noticed a quiet reserve about her, even as he knelt to examine the 
injured thigh of his patient ; mentally, he classified her among 
the women who would make good nurses not without a damaging 
reflection on the well-meaning fussiness of his own wife in the 

A simple fracture of the femur was his diagnosis of the most 
clamant injury under his hands, further than that he found a 
contused wound on the top of the skull and a few bruises of small 
account. His immediate concern was, plainly, to set the broken 
bone, an operation for which he needed assistance ; but whatever 
Mrs. Bradley's qualifications for a hospital nurse, this was evidently 
beyond her powers of accomplishment. She showed signs of faint- 
ness at the very suggestion, and it was the sturdy nephew who, 
steadfastly controlling his qualms, held his uncle while the two 
ends of the bone were brought together by the exercise of all Drews' 
physical force. 

Bradley himself, it may be noted, displayed admirable for- 
bearance in his agony. If the man had soaked and lived evilly, 
as the gossips said, there must originally have been good stuff 
in him. . . . 

From the very beginning, that accident made a difference in 
Drews' life. At first it increased his practice. So many people 
in Bennington were curious about the Bradleys, eager to know 
why they had kept themselves so aloof from the social life of the 


town the mere fact that Bradley drank seemed insufficient to 
explain his wife's seclusion, they thought. And now the gossips 
were on tiptoe to learn the real cause of the accident, and Drews 
was the only person who could satisfy them. They made excuses 
to call him in. 

Drews' attitude gave all the effect of professional diplomacy, 
but it was not truly an expression of qualifications, so admirable 
in a country doctor. The simple explanation of his apparent tact 
was that he, himself, lacked curiosity : he had made no effort to 
discover any secret in the house on the Melford road, and he was 
annoyed by the questions that were thrust at him without hesitation 
or reserve. 

' Really, I hardly know,' was his stereotyped form of reply to 
the equally stereotyped inquiry. ' Mr. Bradley says that some- 
thing frightened the cob a meteor, he told me. I know the 
Vicar says that there wasn't one that night, but he is quite likely 
to have missed it, I should think.' And then he was usually 
called upon to add by way of reply to some more discreetly phrased 
cross-examination : ' No, he certainly wasn't drunk when I saw 
him. He might have been drinking, but he was perfectly sober 

He had given this explanation in precisely the same form to 
his wife, and she was too apathetic to invent any story on her 
own account. The gossips certainly went unsatisfied so far as the 
Drews were concerned, but this sheer accident of his reticence was 
the third step that brought Eva Bradley into his life. 


After that second sight of her in her long white wrapper, and 
with that thick rope of hair hanging to her waist, Drews had 
become aware of a faint interest in her personality. He had even 
wondered in an absent-minded way whether she had had a bad 
time with Bradley. He saw her every day now, but his specula- 
tion had not ripened. For a moment she had shone in an arresting 
setting, a pale figure of a woman differentiated by dress and cir- 
cumstance from the women of his everyday experience. If she 
had been a patient, she would have had no effect upon him ; Drews, 
by his training, had come to regard patients with an unspeculative 
eye. They were, in some inexplicable way, oddly sacrosanct. 


But, after that one imperfect vision of her, he had fallen back 
into his routine observations, his dull sight of all life as part of 
an uninteresting, ordered procession of events, that were quite 
mechanically alike in kind. Eva Bradley was already becoming 
the mere wife of a perhaps more than usually satisfactory patient 
judged by a financial standard when she stepped out of the 
background for a third time to startle him into some sort of 

It was a fortnight after Bradley's accident, and Drews was 
fastening his trouser clips in the hall of ' The Laurels,' when she 
came downstairs. He expected the usual inquiry with regard to 
her husband's progress, and was ready with his cliche, when she 
said : 

' May I speak to you for a moment ? ' 

She led the way into the dining-room, and he followed her, 
putting on his gloves as he went. 

' I want to thank you,' she began. 

He was fairly well used to such expressions, although they were 
rarer now than they had once been. 

' Oh ! that's nothing,' he returned with a touch of brusqueness 
that had always covered his self -consciousness. ' It was quite a 
straightforward case no complications. Anyone . . .' 

' I didn't mean that,' she interrupted ; ' although, of course, 
I am grateful about that too . . . but this ... it was about 
your . . . your loyalty.' 

He looked his failure to comprehend. 

1 Of course it's nothing to you,' she went on quickly, nervously. 
' As a doctor, you would respect the confidence of your patients. 
But it hasn't always happened to me like that. . . .' 

He was subtly flattered. She had made, by her timid stress 
on the pronoun, a distinction between him and the average practi- 
tioner. Already he saw that he had exercised a fine tact in saying 
nothing to Bennington of the private affairs of ' The Laurels.' 
His sluggish curiosity was feebly stirred, not to guess the secret 
she had so plainly admitted to exist, but to find out how this 
record of his splendid silence had reached her. 

' Every medical man,' he said, * must respect the confidence 

of his patients,' and without replying to the incredulous shake of 

her head what was it to him that he should defend the honour 

of his profession ? he added : ' But how, in this particular case 

.*' . I mean, why do you bother to thank me ? ' 


It appeared that the anaemic Nora went to the High School, 
and had brought back some story of Drews' reticence. Mothers 
had spoken unwisely before their young daughters, and the upshot 
of the tittle-tattle, in this case, had been reported in the form that 
' Dr. Drews was as tight as wax.' Furthermore, Nora had over- 
heard a more intriguing report to the effect that ' Of course Drews 
knew something, or he wouldn't be so close about it.' 

The latter formula was paraphrased by Mrs. Bradley at this 
interview. ' You couldn't help guessing, of course . . .' she 
hesitated, increasing the burden of confidence. 

' Really, I don't think so,' Drews replied with some little con- 
fusion. He had carefully buttoned his gloves, and now proceeded 
to take them off again with no less attention to detail. ' As a 
matter of fact, I never do guess anything about the private affairs 
of my patients. I I feel that it doesn't concern me.' 

* No, you would feel like that about it,' she said, and once more 
gave him a glimpse of some pedestal she had made that set him 
above his fellow-men. 

1 No, no, really,' he protested, ' any doctor . . . ' 

She smiled a delightful smile of denial. ' I mustn't keep you,' 

she said, and held out her hand. 

He took it with a sense of pleasure in the knowledge that some 

freak of fate had induced him to remove his glove. 

* But I am grateful,' she added ; and for a moment her hand 
grasped his with an added warmth. He felt it as a hand that was 
soft and firm, but, above all, as a hand that admired him. 

A glow stayed with him as he bicycled on out over the heavy 
roads towards Melford. Something of his mediocrity seemed to 
have fallen away ; his life and his personality were suddenly seen 
in a new aspect, and appeared, however incomprehensibly, to be 
less commonplace than he had supposed. She had penetrated the 
wrappings of discontent with himself and his surroundings that 
had shut him out from any intercourse with beauty ; given him 
a cause for pride he saw, now, what he had never seen before, 
that he had been ' loyal,' any and every confidence had always 
been safe with him. The recognition came as a surprise, a dis- 
covery. He had taken himself too much for granted ; he might 
be a failure and a mediocrity, but at least he had been loyal. Yes, 
even to his wife. No one had ever heard him complain ; he had 
never confided his discontent to anyone. And how strange that 
this woman, almost unknown to him, should be the first person 


to reveal him to himself ! She must have quicker sight, more 
delicate intuitions than the dull, blind creatures with whom he 
had lived so long. He remembered his first sight of her standing 
at the gate of ' The Laurels,' four no, five years ago ; even then, 
surely, he had distinguished her from the crowd of stupid women 
he met every day. There was some quality of distinction about 
her, some splendid freshness of mind unsoiled by her years of 
trial. . . ,&; 

He went to ' The Laurels ' next day with a quicker pulse, with 
a sense of anticipation, almost of adventure ; he saw himself no 
longer as the dull country doctor, but as a man with a certain 
special virtue appreciated and admired only by this one woman 
whom he would certainly see in a few minutes' time. He felt that 
while he was with her the load of his oppression must always, 
now, be lifted ; he would be reinvigorated, he would be in some 
curious way stronger and younger. 

She met him frankly, and when his customary examination of 
his patient somewhat prolonged on this occasion was over, she 
drew him again into the dining-room and they talked for a few 
minutes of her husband's illness, of the weather, and then super- 
ficially and discursively of Bennington. She made no further 
reference to his loyalty, and all their talk was quite impersonal, 
but through it all he was conscious of some admiration for him 
that neither her words nor her manner definitely expressed, some 
hint of deference for his opinions, it may have been ; or some 
look in her dark eyes. 

And day by day he looked forward more and more eagerly 
to those few minutes alone with her. That visit had become the 
focus of his orbit. In his mind, all his day was arranged with 
reference to his sight of Eva Bradley such and such a call was 
to be paid before or after his call at ' The Laurels.' 

Yet, during the ten days that followed her first tribute to his 
loyalty, he never thought of himself as being in love with her. 
She was an encouragement, a tonic, a force that gave him confi- 
dence in himself and made his work seem more worthy. He 
never went beyond that, never speculated on the possibility of 
any relation between them, other than that of the splendid friend- 
ship which they had, as yet, hardly acknowledged. All his 
circumstances, all his life, forbade any thought of passion the 
idea was so unthinkable that he never thought of it even when 
they came to an open avowal. 



That, in some form, was inevitable ; and ten days brought 
them to speech. 

They had been talking of her husband, whose progress towards 
recovery could not be pronounced as entirely satisfactory. His 
broken leg, still in splints, gave him little pain and was certainly 
healing, but he was strangely apathetic, feeble. 

' He has altered so,' Mrs. Bradley confessed, hesitatingly, to 
Drews in the dining-room. 

' In what way ? ' he asked, admitting that he, too, had been 
slightly puzzled. 

* He is a little queer, in some ways,' she said ' not himself.' 
She coloured with that quick, fleeting blush of hers, and looked 
down at the carpet. ' He used to be so so noisy, you know,' she 

It was a confession, and Drews knew it, of a part of the tragedy 
of uncongeniality that existed between her and her husband. 
Drews recognised something of Bradley's roughness, coarseness, 
and at the same moment felt a warm realisation of the fact the 
suggestion had surely been implicit in her speech that he, himself, 
was certainly never ' noisy.' 

He drew his gloves softly through his hands. ' It must be a 
relief to you,' he murmured. 

She nodded silently. * If you think . . .' she began. 

' Oh ! I don't think you need worry about that,' he answered 
her. ' The shock and the pain and so forth would be sufficient 
to account for his quietness. As soon as he's up and about . . .' 

* It will all begin again ? ' She looked up and met his eyes 
with the plain confession of her burden written in her glance. 

He beat his gloves gently on his hand. ' And for me, too,' he 
said, his heart throbbing at the courage of so great an admission. 

' You have your work,' she said. 

' If you could know how I'd come to loathe it,' he returned ; 
' all the deadness and monotony of it, the place and the people 
until ten days ago.' 

That faint blush flickered again in her cheek. ' I wondered 
if you knew,' she said. 

He stammered and looked down. ' I don't know that I knew 
till to-day,' he mumbled, and his voice was so indistinct that, 


although she bent eagerly towards him, she could not catch his 

' To-day ? ' she repeated, the only word she had heard definitely. 
She was greedy to drink the full significance of his speech, but 
some sense of the occasion forbade her to beg a repetition. 

He nodded, still hiding his eyes from her. ' It seemed so 
impossible/ he said. 

She saw that his admission, whatever it had been, was slipping 
away from her, and made a last effort to grasp it. 

' Why was it less impossible to-day ? ' she murmured, in a tone 
that had some devotional quality. 

' It wasn't,' he said. * It seems still quite impossible to me. 
I can't understand what you . . .' His mumbled statement of 
perplexity dropped to some inaudible confession. He cleared his 
throat and fidgeted with his gloves. He was not so much con- 
scious of his ineptitude as of the astounding daring of the admissions 
he had made. 

She was no more practised in such embarrassments than he, 
but her wit found a phrase that definitely placed their relations. 

* We couldn't help it,' she said, still on that low, devotional 
note. ' We've just come into one another's lives.' And then she 
added, ' I think the star that fell must have been our star.' 

' Yes,' he said, and then, conscious for the first time that he 
was failing to touch any climax, he repeated her phrase with a 
subdued awe that echoed her quality of devotion. ' It must have 
been our star,' he said solemnly. 

He made no attempt to kiss her, nor did she seem to expect it, 
but a certain effect of heroism about their parting hand-clasp was 
a sufficient recognition of the fact that they had finally come into 
each other's lives. . . . 

After this emotional confession, they rarely spoke of the 
immense secret they shared between them. Neither of them found 
it necessary to state explicitly the obvious reasons why they 
should contain their passion within the bounds so clearly marked 
out at that one intense interview. The fact that nothing more 
than this could ever come of their devotion to each other was 
accepted as something beyond any possibility of denial. Mean- 
while ' they knew,' as Mrs. Bradley put it once, when their emotions 
surged for a moment over the bank of conventional conversation 
with which they dammed their need for dangerous expression. 
And this ' knowing,' this perfect trust in each other's unfathomable 


devotion, was enough for both of them. They carried that know- 
ledge with them as they went about their dull affairs, and it 
glowed, and was reflected from every aspect of their monotonous 
lives, as it were a soft, deep light that coloured and transfigured the 
meanest object of their intercourse when they faced the unrealities 
of every day. 

She was more tender to her husband because of it ; Drews 
was more patient with his wife. 


Fate, in a sense, was kind to them. It had, in the first instance, 
discharged a star out of the unthinkable immensities of timeless 
space, aimed to explode at one precise spot and at one determined 
instant, in order that they might be brought together. And at 
rare intervals Fate continued to occupy itself with the same 
supreme task. 

The next evidence was exhibited in the continued illness of 
Philip Bradley. His leg was healed, but the curious disability of 
mind that had overtaken him persisted, and was accompanied 
by a growing tendency towards paralysis. He did not appear 
unhappy, he made no show of discontent ; but he was apathetic, 
evincing no desire to get on his feet again, although he often spoke 
of that effort as if it would certainly be made in the near future. 

Drews was puzzled. He often discussed her husband's case 
with Mrs. Bradley, but he took no drastic measures to confirm 
his own hesitating diagnosis. He guessed that the fracture of 
Bradley's skull healed now, outwardly had been more serious 
than he had at first supposed ; but they quibbled and procrasti- 
nated, and continually postponed the calling in of another opinion. 

* Possibly an operation,' Drews would say * trephining, you 
know there may be a slight pressure on the brain . . .' and then 
they would both look anxious and worried. 

' If you think we ought, of course . . .' she would reply, and 
having agreed upon the necessity, they would decide to ' see how 
he was to-morrow.' 

And Philip Bradley's decline was so infinitely slow that when 
to-morrow came he often appeared to be ' slightly better,' and a 
fortnight might pass before the question of ' another opinion ' was 
raised once more. 


It was not that either Eva Bradley or Kenneth Drews had any 
conscious wish to keep her husband confined to his own room. 
As time went on, they might almost have welcomed his return to 
normal activity as something that would put a new barrier 
between them and re-arouse the dramatic interest of their con- 
scientious and admirable restraint. But they hesitated too long 
over the initiative ; and came by subtle, unrealised steps to accept 
the fact that her husband was a chronic invalid, just as they had 
come by the pressure of long-unrecognised influence to accept the 
necessity for a physical morality a necessity that neither of them 
had, from the first, ever questioned. 

Nevertheless that dull red glow of happiness still burned within 
them, and the little necessities for subterfuge kept the flame alight. 
Drews' visits to e The Laurels ' became less frequent he could 
hardly find a decent excuse for visiting his patient more than twice 
a week but they discovered a new source of joy in the Sunday 
services which both of them had always religiously attended. 

Formerly Eva Bradley had worshipped at All Saints' on the 
Melford side of the town, but six months after her husband's 
accident she went one morning to the parish church of St. Peter, 
and sat within sight of Drews and his wife, although on the other 
side of the nave. And after that she rented a sitting at St. Peter's, 
and they could catch an occasional glimpse of one another during 
morning and evening service. Without speaking of the thing in 
words, they came to an agreement whereby at two defined moments 
during each service they could meet one another's eyes for the 
fraction of a second. Neither of them changed their expressions 
during that brief recognition of each other's thought ; if the 
glance had been noted by the most critical Bennington gossip, it 
must have been passed as the conventional stare, permitted during 
the hours of worship. But cold as was their regard of each other, 
this exchange of glances served them. ' They knew,' and nothing 
more was needed to warm them into joy of their hidden delight, 
unless it was the blessed consciousness, so strong in them in that 
place and at those times, that they were strong in virtue that, 
despite all temptation, their consciences were free of the least 
offence. . . . 

And when Fate, still interested in these two devoted souls, 
again interposed, and Drews' wife died rather suddenly of 
pneumonia two years after Bradley's accident, it seemed that the 
conditions were little altered. Drews' practice had been falling 


away for some time a younger and more energetic doctor had 
settled in Bennington and he had saved no money. 

Apart from that most vital question of conscience, it was plain 
that they dared risk no scandal. He was dependent upon his little 
professional income ; she on the paralytic husband, whose moral 
hold upon her, moreover, had grown rather than diminished since 
he had been confined to his bed. Finally, there were her two 
children Nora grown now into a rather pretty girl of sixteen. 
Even if their cherished virtue had not stood between them, these 
were reasons enough to keep them apart. 

But they came near to speech of all these things once, soon after 
Mrs. Drews died in the familiar room that had heard all the con- 
fidences they had ever exchanged. He had spoken doubtfully of 
her husband, who was so patently weaker that day ... * although 
he might live for years,' Drew concluded. 

She looked up at him, and he returned her glance ; for an 
instant they were held in one of their rare moments of confessional 
understanding. The message of their eyes spoke the thing that 
had never been named between them. 

* But we must not think of that, ever/ she said, and turned 
a little away from him. * It would spoil it all, now, if we were 
ever so little impatient. We must have confidence in our star.' 

He nodded his patient approval of her statement, looking down 
again at the hearthrug, so associated now in his mind with these 
delicious intervals of rest from the worry of his drudging life. 

1 Oh yes, we must wait,' he mumbled. ' I'm satisfied. The 
knowledge that you . . . that we ... that things are as they are, 
is enough. It helps me through everything.' 

' And me,' she concluded devotionally. 

It was very rarely that they permitted themselves such an 
overt reference to their wonderful secret. 

And Fate slumbered, again, for three long years before it 
carried away the soul of Philip Bradley. 


After his necessary intervention in the business of the funeral, 
Drews waited for six decent weeks before he called at * The Laurels.' 

He was shabbier than ever, and became more conscious still 
of his shabbiness when he was shown into the drawing-room, a 


room he had hardly seen, and one that contained no memories of 
brief, stolen interviews with the woman between whom and him- 
self only one barrier now remained. 

She kept him waiting there for ten minutes, and when she 
came she was subdued, reserved, he thought. Her weeds suited 
her, throwing up the pure outlines of her pale face. She looked 
delicately fragile, and he remembered his first instinctive diagnosis 
when he had seen her standing at the gate. 

They were both constrained. Their hesitating conversation 
fluttered over the uninteresting topics of the neighbourhood, and 
presently she spoke of going away for a time, to Italy. She said 
she thought her two girls ought to see Italy while they were still 

He agreed. ' It will do them and you good to have a change,' 
he said. He was thinking of the barrier that was still set up 
between them. She was a comparatively rich woman, they had 
learned ' left much better off than she had expected,' the gossips 
said and he was poorer than he had ever been. He felt that to 
ask her to marry him, now, would be to put himself in the light 
of a fortune-hunter. That, indeed, would be a tragic ending to 
the perfect romance which had upheld him for five dreary years. 

' I don't suppose we should be away for more than three months,' 
she said ' until the spring, perhaps.' 

' You were thinking of coming back here ? ' he asked. 

* Not to " The Laurels," she told him ; ' to Bennington, per- 
haps. I don't know. I can't decide yet.' She looked up at him 
quickly, and looked away again. He thought her glance a little 
apprehensive, as if she feared that he might be indiscreet, might 
make some reference to the great secret they had nursed so 

He got up and stood on the unfamiliar drawing-room hearth- 
rug. ' In any case, you'll come back to Bennington for a time, 
after the Italian tour ? ' he asked, with an air of definitely post- 
poning all that he might have to say. 

* Oh yes' she said emphatically, as if in quick agreement to 
his postponement. ' Oh, of course, we shall come back for a time/ 

He was aware of a feeling of relief. They had understood one 
another, once more, so perfectly. This tacit agreement to wait 
three months had been so delightfully of a piece with all their 
silent communions. There was, surely, no need of words between 
them they knew. . . . 


And when she had gone and he had taken up the old routine, 
he was not conscious of any particular loneliness. He never passed 
' The Laurels/ standing empty now, and vacant, without tender 
thoughts of all that that house had meant to him ; the light within 
still glowed as of old. He did not doubt that, far away in Italy, 
she thought of him, that she also kept warm the sacred fire of their 
wonderful secret. 

They wrote to each other at fairly long intervals discreet, 
uninteresting letters and in April he learned that she and her 
two girls were going to Germany for the summer to complete 
Nora's education. He was not disappointed. He realised that 
he had become a little nervous about her impending return. Her 
money loomed so largely between them. 

But during that summer, Fate, looking back upon them, as if 
by an afterthought made good its one omission. Drews' brother, 
long since migrated to America and forgotten, died a widower and 
childless, and left a very sufficient competence to his only living 

At fifty-two, Kenneth Drews, the beggarly country practitioner, 
found himself independent, the master of what seemed to him a 
lordly income, and with no obstacle left between him and the 
woman he had loved so devotedly and so reticently for more than 
five years. He understood, suddenly, that he was bound now, 
in honour, to search her out, to complete their lives. 

Strangely, the realisation brought no throb of anticipation, such 
as he had once had at the thought of seeing her on his daily visit to 
the house on the Melford road. That sweet understanding between 
them had been delicate, tender, romantic, of another quality 
altogether than this brutal, matter-of-fact relation of marriage. 
Nevertheless, he decided to seek her in Dresden, and to give her 
no hint till then either of his changed future or of his coming. 

He went in November. All their most intimate moments had 
been associated in his mind with the autumn and winter months ; 
but another reason for his delay was an unspoken desire to see 
first something of the countries that she had lived in since she 
left Bennington. He did not want to appear before her as the 
commonplace country doctor she had known in all their inter- 
course : he wished, as it were, to come up to her new level. 

So he spent three months in France, Switzerland, and Italy 
before he made his unannounced call upon her in the big Dresden 



She received him on a note of glad surprise, but he suspected 
an artificiality in her welcome, as if, even now, she felt that he 
came too soon. 

He began by explaining the wonderful change in his circum- 

* Oh ! I'm so glad,' she said ' so glad that you are released 
from all that grey routine that had become so wearisome to you.' 

' It isn't only that,' he said, dropping his voice, determined, 
now, to speak all that he had suppressed for nearly six years. * It 
isn't only that.' 

She made no attempt to check him. ' You mean that we . . .' 
she began. 

' I mean that, at last, I . . .' he said, and found that he had 
nothing more to say. All the glorious ardour that had, as he 
believed, burned in him so long, had fed upon itself until only a 
mere wraith of it remained. There was no longer anything within 
him that cried for expression. All the adorations and thoughts 
he had had of her seemed stale and worn by use, although they 
had never been spoken ; they had, as it were, bled internally, and 
the life had gone from them. He looked at her and realised 
horribly that, all unnoticed, the light had gone out. . . . 

But his honour remained. He must blow upon the dead 
embers, must simulate an eagerness he no longer felt. He must, 
before all, never permit her to guess that there was any change 
in him. 

* I mean that, at last, I am really free,' he said. 
' Yes, we are free,' she echoed quietly. 

' There is no barrier now,' he said. 

' No physical barrier,' she assented. 

' Will you marry me ? ' he asked desperately. 

' I think it would be better not,' she said, and he knew that 
he was glad. 

' But why not ? ' he asked, honourably. 

She looked down at her slim, white hands. ' Our love has 
been such a beautiful thing,' she said, ' so sacred, so precious, so 
beautifully pure. I feel that it would be sacrilege to acknow- 
ledge it to the world. Can't we go on as we are ? Can't we see 
one another sometimes, and feel still, as we have always felt, 


that we know, and that nothing else could ever be sweeter than 
that ? ' 

He saw the solution of all his difficulties in her statement. * I 
understand,' he said. ' I feel that, too. We have always under- 
stood one another.' 

' Always,' she agreed. 

' Almost completely.' 

' Almost completely.' 

A little silence fell upon them. They thought that they had 
deceived each other into the belief that the light still burned, but 
each knew that the light had gone out in both of them if it had 
ever truly burned at all I 

VOL. LII. NO. 307, N.S. 


Old Whig Toast : Buff and Blue 

And Mrs. Crewe. 

Mrs. Crewe drinks : Buff and Blue 
And all of you. 

IN October 1802 the ' Edinburgh Review, a Critical Journal/ was 
published simultaneously in Edinburgh and London with promise 
of reappearance quarterly. Amongst the men responsible for its 
production, fulfilment of the pledge was not confidently expected. 
In the spring of the year made memorable by the great event, 
Francis Jeffrey, first editor, wrote to a friend : 

' Our Review has been postponed until September, and I am 
afraid it will not go on with much spirit even then. We are bound 
for a year to the booksellers, and shall drag through that for our 
own indemnification.' 

For himself he is comforted by the reflection that he is bound by 
his engagement ' only for the first four numbers ; and,' he adds, 
' 1 hardly expect the Review itself to have a much longer life.' 

He was agreeably disappointed. Lord Cockburn, his bio- 
grapher, writing half a century later from personal recollection, 
recorded that 

' The effect of the first number was electrical. Instead of expiring, 
as many wished in their first efforts, the force of the shock was 
increased by each subsequent discharge. It is impossible for those 
who did not live at the time to feel or understand the anxieties with 
which its motions were observed.' 

In the spring of 1802 a group of men, mostly young, used to gather 
in Jeffrey's room to discuss a project whose early begetter was 
Sydney Smith. In addition to these two were Brougham, Francis 
Homer, and John A. Murray, afterwards Lord Murray. Sydney 
Smith was just over thirty years of age ; Jeffrey just under that 
happy meridian. Homer was 24, and Brougham 23. 

The first business of the budding staff was to select a motto 
for the Journal. Jeffrey suggested : ' We cultivate literature 


upon a little oatmeal.' It was suggested that this was too near 
the truth to be desirable, and on further consultation the quotation 
from Publilius Syrus which has graced the blue cover for nearly 
120 years was selected : ' Judex damnatur cum nocens absolvitur.' 
The form and colour of the Journal, buff and blue the Whig 
fighting colours are the same to-day as when the Review was 

Of the first number only 750 copies were printed : within half 
a dozen years the sale had increased by thousands. At the outset 
it was arranged that the writers should receive no remuneration. 
Long in advance of the periodical Pendennis edited, the Review 
was to be written by gentlemen for gentlemen who scorned the 
vulgar allurement of pay. The third number showing a continued 
increase of sales and net profits, this delicacy of feeling was cast 
aside. An arrangement was made whereby the editor received 
200 a year, contributors 10 a sheet. Lord Byron hearing of 
this inserted in ' English Bards and Scotch Reviewers ' the spiteful 

' To Jeffrey go, the silent and discreet ; 
His pay is just ten sterling pounds a sheet.' 

Easy is the descent to Avernus. Having once tasted the 
sweetness of quarterly pay, the young men, anticipating the action 
of a modern House of Commons, voted themselves an increase of 
pay to the amount of sixteen guineas a sheet. For this sum 
Gladstone was, fifty years ago, content, perhaps pleased, to con- 
tribute an article. In 1885 I was commissioned by a leading 
American magazine to approach him with an offer of a hundred 
guineas for an article that need not necessarily exceed two thousand 
words. My mission was fruitless. 

I wonder how many people could name the occasion and the 
circumstances under which Gladstone made his historic reference 
to ' the streak of silver sea ' by which the dispensation of Provi- 
dence cut Great Britain off from contiguity with continental 
nations ? The general opinion, which I confess I shared, is that 
the phrase flashed through a speech in the House of Commons. 
I find it in an article in an early number of the ' Edinburgh.' 

The period was that of the war between Germany and France, 
resulting in the overthrow of the French Empire. * What,' 
Gladstone asked, * will be our share, as a member of the European 
family, of the consequences ? ' He answered : 

' It will be our own fault if they are anything but good and 


useful. Happy England ! Happy not because any Immaculate 
Conception exempted her from that original sin of nations, the 
desire to erect Will into Eight, and the lust of territorial aggrandise- 
ment. Happy not only because she is Felix prole virum, because 
the United Kingdom is peopled by a race unsurpassed as a whole 
in its energies and endowments. But happy, with special reference 
to the present subject, in this, that the wise dispensation of Pro- 
vidence has cut her off by that streak of silver sea which passengers 
so often and so justly execrate though in no way from the duties 
and the honours, yet partly from the dangers, absolutely from the 
temptations, which attend upon the local neighbourhood of the 
continental nations.' 

The long-forgotten article is notable for two other points. One, 
the declaration that l Ireland, our ancient reproach, can no longer 
fling her grievances in the face of Great Britain ' a sanguine view 
of the future, certainly not confirmed by events of the current 
year. The other, a remarkable forecast of the League of Nations. 

' We should do as we would be done by,' Gladstone wrote in 
1870. ' We should seek to found a moral empire upon the con- 
fidence of the nations, not upon their fears, their passions, or their 
antipathies. Certain it is that a new law of nations is gradually 
taking hold of the mind, and aiming to sway the practice of the 
world ; a law which recognises independence, which frowns upon 
aggression, which favours the pacific rule, which aims at permanent, 
not temporary, adjustments ; above all, which recognises as a 
tribunal of paramount authority the general judgment of civilised 

This is not the only or the first article contributed by Gladstone 
to the Review. In 1867 he penned a review of ' The Session and 
its Sequel.' He scornfully alluded to the fact that whereas two 
years earlier Disraeli had thrown out a moderate Reform Bill, 
introduced by Lord Russell, on the ground that it was far too 
democratic, he had himself carried a measure going beyond the 
extreme of radical principles. He had thus destroyed the credit 
of his party with the country. Authority, Gladstone urged, can 
never long be severed from public esteem and confidence, and of 
these the session of 1867 had, he asserted, robbed the Tory party. 
The day of retribution was near : ' the moral of the session lies 
in fresh proofs that parties, like individuals, can only enjoy a 
solid prosperity by building on the rock of honour, truth, and the 
confidence they alone engender.' His view of the effect of 


Disraeli's tactics upon the public mind was speedily and fully 

Two months later there took place a General Election that 
drove Disraeli and his followers from power, and established 
Gladstone in office with a majority of 120. 

In the first number of the Review was opened the attack upon 
what was known as The Lake School of Poetry, carried on through 
the full period of Jeffrey's editorship. Reviewing Southey's 
' Thalaba ' he said, there would always be readers who would find 
entertainment in ' the representation of vulgar manners in vulgar 
language,' to whom elegance and dignity were of no importance, 
and who would accept a style ' due to a system teaching us to 
undervalue that vigilance and labour which sustained the loftiness 
of Milton, and gave energy and direction to the pointed and fine 
propriety of Pope.' 

Twelve years later appeared Jeffrey's famous article on Words- 
worth's ' Excursion,' commencing ' This will never do.' In the 
same vein Jeffrey dismissed ' the Lakers,' as he calls them, as * a 
puling and self-admiring race.' This is pretty well for a gentleman 
who commenced his literary career by writing verse of a quality 
his friend and biographer, Lord Cockburn, described as ' less poetical 
than his prose.' 

The prosperity of the Review naturally brought competitors 
into the field. The Tories, looking on dismayed at the hold the 
Whig stripling had gained upon the public of England as well as 
Scotland, resolved to bring out their own organ. It was briefly 
called ' The Quarterly,' and lives to this day in peaceful com- 
panionship with its earlier foe, the ' Edinburgh Review.' The 
first number appeared in February 1809. 

In 1817 another redoubtable knight rode into the lists. This 
was { Blackwood's Magazine,' the first, and by no means the least 
great of the monthlies. It is able to-day to boast that * the fame 
and circulation of " Blackwood's Magazine " at the end of the century 
is higher than at any other period.' This incursion upon what he had 
regarded as his personal territory had the effect of waking up Jeffrey 
to maintain the lead. There were no signs of falling fortune about 
the Review. On the contrary, the appearance of rivals increased 
its sale. In 1814 it rose to over 12,000 copies per quarter ; in 
1817 it touched 13,500, the highest point ever reached, but, as 
Jeffrey feared, it was growing old. In January 1825 he wrote 
to a friend : * Can you lay your hands on some clever young men 


who would write for us ? The original supporters of the work 
are getting old and either too busy or too stupid, and here the 
young men are mostly Tories.' 

An epoch-making answer was forthcoming. Seven months 
later the Review was enlivened by a contribution from Macaulay, 
a young man of twenty-five, whose name was unknown to the 
public. The subject was Milton, an essay to-day known as one of 
the treasures of English literature. Macaulay was at the time in 
Calcutta, whence he despatched his manuscript to Edinburgh. As 
he described it, it was ' of interminable length,' a characteristic which 
marked subsequent contributions. To Macvey Napier, Jeffrey's 
successor in the editorial chair, the essay on Bacon was submitted. 
It ran to 120 pages, out of 282 that made up the number. Napier 
appealed to Jeffrey for advice as to what he should do. In 
ordinary case an editor would have fearlessly cut it down. 

' What mortal,' Jeffrey wrote in reply, ' could ever dream of 
cutting out the least particle of this precious work to make it fit 
better with your Review ? It would be worse than paring down the 
Pitt diamond to fit the old setting of a dowager's ring. It is 
altogether magnificent et prope divinum. Since Bacon himself 
I do not know that there has been anything so fine. I have read 
it not only with delight, but with emotion with throbbings of the 
heart and tears in the eye/ 

Napier timidly clipped it to the extent of sixteen pages. 

Lacking the authority of the first editor, Napier had a bad 
time with some of his contributors. Between Brougham and 
Macaulay serious quarrels arose. The former, jealous of the 
length afforded to the new recruit's contributions, complained that 
his own assistance had come to be reckoned ' as a very secondary 
object/ and darkly threatened resignation. Macaulay retorted 
that he ' lost patience with a man who half knows everything, 
and is best at domineering the editor and puffing his own 

It was in the April number of 1839 that Macaulay's review of 
Gladstone's book on Church and State appeared. A sentence 
describing the personality of the author is frequently quoted. 
The text of the passage is worth reprinting ; the closing sentences 
are not familiar, and in view of Gladstone's successes and failures 
are equally interesting. 


' The author of this volume is a young man of unblemished 
character and of distinguished Parliamentary talents, the rising 
hope of those stern and unbending Tories who follow reluctantly 
and mutinously a leader whose experience and eloquence are 
indispensable to them, but whose cautious temper and moderate 
opinions they abhor. It would not be at all strange if Mr. Gladstone 
were one of the most unpopular men in England. But we believe 
that we do him no more than justice when we say that his abilities 
and his demeanour have obtained for him the respect and goodwill 
of all parties.' 

' Mr. Gladstone/ the article goes on, * appears to be in many 
respects exceedingly well qualified for philosophical investigation. 
His mind is of large grasp ; nor is he deficient in dialectical skill. 
But he does not give his intellect fair play. There is no want of 
light, but a great want of what Bacon would have called dry light. 
Whatever Mr. Gladstone sees is refracted and distorted by a false 
medium of passion and prejudices. His style bears a remarkable 
analogy to his mode of thinking, and, indeed, exercises great influence 
on his mode of thinking. His rhetoric, though often good of its 
kind, darkens and perplexes the logic it should illustrate.' 

Macaulay also had differences with Sydney Smith. Both 
were brilliant talkers, neither disposed to be brief. Macaulay 
had the drawback of exceedingly rapid utterance, which some- 
times made it difficult to follow the stream of his conversation. 
' He never lets me get in a word,' Sydney Smith said, with woeful 
countenance. Once when this was more than usually the case he 
rose to leave the room : ' When I am gone,' he said to Macaulay, 
' you will be sorry you have not heard me speak a word.' Lord 
Cockburn in his Journal a mine of information about the ' Edin- 
burgh Review,' its editors and contributors says that Sydney 
Smith, happening to meet him in the street, mentioned that he had 
just been to call upon Macaulay, whom he found sick in bed. ' He 
was,' Smith added, ' more agreeable than I remember ever having 
found him. There were some glorious flashes of silence.' 

Another of Napier's contributors not easy to deal with was 
Carlyle. In looking through his contributions, the editor found it 
necessary to use the blue pencil. Carlyle was exceeding wroth. 
' Editorial hacking and hewing,' he wrote, ' I will not stand. Surely 
you can trust me, for I strongly hold that one can and should ever 
speak quietly. Loud hysteric vehemence, foaming, hissing least of 
all becomes him that is convinced and not only supposes, but 


knows.' The italics are Carlyle's. The passage is delicious, coming 
from the Apostle of Silence in many volumes. 

It was in 1829 that Jeffrey resigned the editorship of the 
Review, and Macvey Napier, Professor of Conveyancing in Edin- 
burgh University, was called to the post. Successors at intervals 
were Sir George Cornewall Lewis, and Henry Reeve, perhaps even 
better known as the editor of the Greville Memoirs, a publication 
that deeply wounded the sensibilities of Queen Victoria. Its 
present editor made his mark in the House of Commons before 
he retired to devote himself to the direction of a great periodical. 


To A* C. M. C. 

OFT in the twilight, ere the lamps are lit, 
My thoughts like errant ghosts about me flit, 
Haphazard, vague ; yet presently take shape, 
And waft me on soft pinions to a Cape 
Jutting across the ocean of the Past, 
To Memory's headland, where the tides flow fast 
Bearing a fleet of bygone hopes and prayers. 
And some were laden in a mist of tears, 
Yet came to port ; others put bravely out 
With love and laughter, but were tossed about 
By storms, and foundered. 

Look, yon galleon gay, 
Bright-painted, pennons fresh as yesterday, 
Carries a cargo richer than fine gold, 
Traffic of Youth lies fragrant in her hold. 

Now at my feet she harbours, and a hatch 

Is raised amidships ; straight a lusty batch 

Of laughing dreams bestrew the encumbered poop 

With wares for me to choose among. I stoop 

Towards inky desks, oak panelling, a stove, 

A master's dais ; old chestnut beams above 

The wainscot ; mullioned windows, cobwebbed, dim ; 

For all the years, my faithful dreams can limn 

The leastest inch of that remembered scene, 

The Fifth-form Classroom ; with a brow serene 

Our master enters, mark him well, for he 

Is trained and dowered as such an one should be, 

Firm, courteous, watchful, friendly, yet aloof. 

' What is it you ask, lad ? ' ' Please, Sir, where's the proof 

That Homer wrote the Odyssey ? Of course 

Books Ten to Twelve come from another source, 

That must be granted ; and Book Twenty-one 

Is unhomeric, and clearly stands alone.' 

Our master pounced upon the accustomed bait ; 

With books forgotten we would gladly wait 

Upon his wisdom, for we loved to bask 

(Also, the sluggards would escape their task) 


In that nice scholarship, and ripened sense, 
And kindliness. * Whither,' he said, ' or whence 
A Poet's mood may lead him, none can say. 
Only be sure of this no common clay 
Composed the mighty Epic.' For a while 
He taught us where to mark the Poet's style, 
Then touched upon the laws that e'er control 
Epochs of Songs and Singers. * Search the roll 
Of all the greatest, you will surely find 
No sweeter music, no serener mind. 
Such clear perfection has no kith nor kin, 
'Tis only smaller souls may find a twin.' 
Then he would read us with sonorous tone 
The abundant lines. Odysseus spake alone 
Among the ghosts ; or blinded Polypheme 
Raved about No Man ; or with spell supreme 
The wanton Circe brewed a dreadful wine, 
Turning poor sailormen to bristly swine. 
Lovely Calypso, kind Alcinoiis, 
Lissome Nausicaa, they spake to us 
In magic words : faithful Penelope, 
Argus the dog, Telemachus, for me 
They oped a window whence a lad could see 
Into the Holy Place of Poetry. 

And in the dusk I hear a whisper low, 
' A many masters teach a lad to know 
The gods bowed down to by the worldly-wise, 
Success, and Power, with all that money buys ; 
But few they are who teach the sons of men 
The unequalled wisdom that he taught you then. 
Though to the grave your body shall at length 
Relinquish all its comeliness and strength ; 
Though reeling brain, and fruitless, palsied hand 
Soon from their stale alliance must disband, 
'Tis naught, if haply from his wayward youth 
A man has striven for Beauty, toiled for Truth. 
Then shall a firm road guide his wavering feet, 
Leading him onwards to the Mercy-seat.' 





AUBREY'S notes and letters were, if lie had time, generally 
worked up into short biographies. The three sketches of Lives 
which follow are just such as are found among the Aubrey MSS. 
in the Bodleian, and seem (or are supposed) to be intended for use 
by Anthony Wood. They describe persons whom Aubrey is likely 
to have known, the first by hearsay at Oxford, the others in ' the 
great world.' Similar accounts might be gleaned from other 
writers, but a good deal seems to be quite new. 

Sir William Paddy (1554-1634). 

This gentleman, a great medico of his time, was the ancient 
friend of Archbishop Laud. When he was an old man, yet still 
went to hear sermons, he so heard Mr. Laud preach upon the 
Catholique claims of the English Church before the Universitie of 
Oxford, whose Vice Chancellor, a bitter praginaticall man, was 
ready to convent him (as they called it). Then went the good 
Sir William straight to the Earl of Dorset who was the Chancellor, 
and told him what a very excellent learned man and of a very 
honest and good conversation was Mr. Lawde, and how he him- 
self was present at the sermon and heard nothing that might 
give any just cause of offence. And so the storm blew off. He 
dwelt in a chamber at S. John Baptist College, on the first floor 
looking towards the great gate. When the Archbishop made his 
new building he wrote that there must be a flying stare to Sir 
William Paddy's lodgings. It was like a little house within the 
college. Often the medicall fellows (whom they have by their 
statutes) dwelt there. He was a great friend to catts, and one 
would often be seen upon his knees. So was the martyr. He 
was a great lover of catts. He was presented with some Cyprus- 
catts, our Tabby-catts, which were sold at first for 5 li. a piece : 
this was about 1637 or 1638 so he could not show them to Dr. 
Paddy. I doe well remember that the common English catt was 
white with some blewish piednesse : sc. a gallipot-blew. The race 
or breed of them are now almost lost. 1 

1 This passage, from 'He was a great lover ' to 'almost lost,' is found, in 
almost the same words, apart from the rest, among Aubrey's Monumenta Britannica 
in the Bodleian. I do not think it has been printed. It is MS. Aubrey 15. 


Now it was strange that tho' lie was so great a lover of catts 
so alsoe lie was of musique, for tlie two things do not lie well 
together, indeed they make what we call a catterwauling. But 
Sir W. Paddye did not thinke so and he left a large summe to his 
colledge for the enriching of its quire with singinge men which the 
old founder's money had never been enough for, or the fellowes 
had stolen it for their own purposes. Nowe it is set so that they 
cannot steale it unless they be very profligate and licentious. 
I have seen a letter of the Abp's to the Lord Wentworth l where 
he sayes ' Sir William Paddy our old St. John's man is dead 
and hath left the college money to purchase land to set up the 
choir and maintain it.' Mr. Baylie told me they had bought 
an estate at Wood Bevington in Warwickshire very beautiful and 
profitable. In the Warrs and Commonwealth so call'd, but it 
was the common ill this was taken away, but now is restored 
to its purpose, nor will ever be taken off again unless the times 
doe become again ungodlie and perverse, which the Lord forbid. 
And the Archbishop did send down a black box by the carrier 
wherein was his decree for an anniversary in honour of Sir W. 
Paddy and his memory as he himself hath appointed it and further 
that the organist singing men and boyes shall for that daye dine 
in the college hall and have 205. for gaudies, which custom hath 
these manye years been pretermitted. The Archbishop ordered 
that the service should be sung twice every day at the choir-hours, 
and so, besides the Service of God which will be thus held up, the 
singing men themselves will much better their skill by daily 
practice if they ever intend to do themselves further good. When 
Dr. Laud was President the eminent Mr. Orlando Gibbons wrote 
an anthem to be performed in the chapel on S. John Baptist's 

Sir William was one of the first learned men who made a 
physician's practice his study. He followed on Mr. John Case, 
one of the first Fellowes of his college, before whom the barbers 
were also the surgeons. Sir William was King James's physician. 
When Mr. John Case was alive, who was a great student of politics 
too and of anatomie, there was a picture painted of him looking 
down upon a skeleton. And no man knoweth what the skeleton 
may be. It hath a long tail that sticketh up between the ribs. 
It is some homunculus or mannikin. When Sir William showed 
it to a little gentleman who was a bishop's son, he being very young 
and pertinacious looketh at it a long while and then asked if the 
man who watched it were a physician. When he was told he was 
he looked again upon the skeleton and said ' Will it get better ? ' 

1 This is evidently the letter of Laud to Strafford, printed in Laud's Works, 
vol. vi, p. 415. 


Sir William left a great library of medicall books. He was 
a member of King James's first Parliament wherein he sat for the 
towne of Thetford in Norfolk. Also he wrote a poem on the death 
of Queen Bess, which began with this line : 

Terminus hue rerum meus hue me terminus urget, 

whereat the scholars said that he made better play with his 
lancet than with his pen. He said in it that he hoped the new 
King, a very Solomon, would have no need of a physician. 

Sic tamen ut medicd sis sine salvus ope. 

But the King made him his own physician and knighted him. 
The King was very friendlye with him. He conversed much with 
him. They pondered whether the morals of nurses are imbibed 
by infants with the milk, to which that other learned leech Sir 
Theodore Mayerne gave great thought. Sir William writ nega- 
tive, whereat the King was pleased. Also he was a great friend 
to the King over the matter of tobacco, whereof the King was a 
great foe. At Oxforde in the year 1605 Sir William for so he 
then was argued before his majestic that ' smoking of tobacco 
is unfavourable to health,' whereat the King was mightily pleased. 
Dr. Raphael Thorius hath a poem to him * De Paeto seu 
Tabaco/ wherein he apostrophizes thus : 

Tu Paddaeo fave, nee enim praestantior alter 
Morbifugae varias vires agnoscere plantae. 

King James would never suffer men to take tobacco near him : 
at this Mr. Izaak Walton, who was a great smoaker, was much 
displeased. He would compare it to hell and to the vanities of 
this world. There was a song about this, of the smoak that 
doth so hie ascend and shows man's life doth have an ende : 
think of this when you smoake tobacco, and the pipe that is so 
foule within like to man's soule so stained with sinne. All this 
greatly pleased the King. Now when one Kemble was sent to 
death by Queene Marye he walked from the prison to the fire 
with a martyr's fortitude smoaking a pipe of tobacco. When one 
told this to King James, he saith ' And so he made an hereticall 
end.' (Quaere, or was it Sir William who said this ?) 

When King James lay a-dying it was Paddye who ministered 
to him, and he had a great Prayer Book in which he writ an account 
of the King's last houres and of his prayers. And this is what 
he writ : I have seen it, with the prayers of Archbishop Abbot and 


Bishop Williams, in the book with the King's arms on it. Date 
Martii 27, 1625. 

' Beyng sent for to Thibaulde butt two daies before the 
death of my soveraigne Lord and master King James : I held it 
my Christian dutie to prepare hym, telling hym that there was 
nothing left for me to doe (in y e afternoone before his death y e 
next daie att noone) butt to pray for his soule. Whereupon y e 
Archbishop and y e Lord keeper, byshop of Lincolne, demaunded 
yf His Majestic would be pleased that they shold praye wi th Hym 
whereunto he cheerfullie accorded. And after short praier these 
sentences were by y e Bishop of Lincolne distinctlie pronounced 
unto hym, who with his eies (the messenger of his Hart) lyfted 
up unto Heaven, att the end of every sentence, gave to us all 
therby, a godly assurance of those graces and livelie faith, where- 
un to He apprehended the merite of our Lord and onlie Saviour 
Christ Jesus, accordinglie as in his godlie life he had often publiquelie 
expressed. Will. Paddy.' 1 

So the end of King James came very piously, and Bishop 
Williams (who was afterwards a great enemy of Bishop Lawde, 
calling him that little meddling hocus pocus, though he had the 
bravery to denye it) preached a solemn discourse at his obsequies 
on Britain' *s Salomon. No doubt Dr. Paddye did advise the King 
in his health very wisely ; but he would not be advised. 

Now this Sir William was also a great friend to Sir Robert 
Cotton, that great devourer of manuscripts, and importuned 
Bishop Laud when he was Menevensis to procure for him the 
manuscript of Beda from the Library of their Colledge, which was 
to stretch the statute. Dr. Juxon, that good man who gave 
King Charles the viaticum at his execution, was the President and 
he received back the book in March 1623 which was suffered to 
be taken out of ye Library and carried out of the Colledge at the 
earnest request of Sir William Paddy, Knight, their worthy Bene- 
factor, whose request the whole Colledge did judge to bee ardua 
et necessaria causa exportandi librum predictum ad tempus according 
to the Statute in that part provided : so a fellow of the College 
telleth me. 2 

This good man lived till 1634 (quaere the daye he died ?). 
He was a great approver of the Bath waters, where he sent 
Richardson, Chief Justice, in the summer before he himself died, 
for fear of palsy. In the chapel where he gave a pneumatick 

1 This MS. note of Sir W. Paddy's was printed verbatim in the Transactions 
of the Scottish Ecclesiological Society, 1904. 

1 This Mr. W. H. Stevenson, Librarian, reports to be recorded in the College 
Register, ii. p. 647. The MS. he identifies with MS. 17, a famous twelfth-century 
Thorney MS. of Bede. 


organ of great cost there is a monument to him. He was one of 
the last to wear a ruffe. He had a close dipt long bearde. There 
is a picture of him in his scarlet and another in his black doctor's 
gown with his great golde watche on the table beside him. He 
was an incomparable person. 

George Morley (1597-1684). 

This eminent person hath so many biographers that I need 
not say much of him, for all is well known both to Mr. Anthonie 
a Wood and to others who keep the impress of our times. He 
was a notable man at every time of his life, being a scholar of the 
Westminster school and a student of the Aedes Christi at Oxford. 
In his youth he knew Ben Johnson very well, who alsoe had been 
in the vpermost forme at Westminster, but nigh a quarter century 
before him. Ben served as a bricklayer before he became a poet. 
But Mr. Morley was often a helpe to him and knewe him in his 
old age when he was poore and sicke. Himself was a great lord's 
chaplain (Carnarvon it was) till he was 43, and after that 
Chaplain to the King and had a prebend at Christ Church. He 
would not be of the Assembly of Divines, but he served King 
Charles well in his Universitie, where the Puritanes took all his 
rents from him, and then at the Isle of Wight where he was con- 
cerned in the Treaty of Newport as it was called. And he was 
confessor to Arthur Lord Capell when he was killed by the rebels. 
After he was with the King in Holland and Chaplain to the beau- 
tifull Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia aunt to King Charles II. They 
were poore together, yet would he spend the little he had among 
the book shops in the Hague, as I have often been told, and so 
he began that gloriose library which afterwards he gave to his 
cathedral. He was a great friend to the learned Dutch. Firmly 
settled was he in the Church of England but at the Restoration 
of King Charles and the Church he was eager to admit the Presby- 
terian preachers to minister in the Church by waye of conditional 
ordination, to remove all scruple and doubtfulness from them 
that held the old way Apostolicall. 

Dr. Morley would rise very early and go to bed very late. 
He was never in bed more than six hours, nor would he eate more 
than once, in the twenty four. He was a very strong man. He 
had a bright ruddy pumpled face, and a thin disordered beard : 
also his hair would be brush down like a fringe over his browe. 
In his cathedrall there is a noble monument of him with the 
inscription he wrote for it when he was more than eightie yeares 
of age. He was a great friende likewise to Mr. John Evelyn 
at whose request he vindicated himselfe against the Jesuite 


Maimbourg in the matter of the Duchess of York's perversion, 
whose Confessor he was. He very wittily described the madde 
Queen Christina of Sweden between whom and the Queen of 
Bohemia there were some discourtesies. 

He was Bishop of Winchester twentie two yeares and five 
monethes, and was of eighty-seven years when he dyed. His 
greatest benefactions (out of many great ones) were the college- 
house he built for the widows of priests at Winchester and the 
library of rare books, the collection of all his life, to the Chapter 
of that church. Over his tomb hang the mitre and the Bishop's 
staffe which the heralds carried at his funeralles. 
;' It was he who preached the sermon at King Charles's corona- 
tion, being then Lord Bishop of Worcester. After that within a year 
or so he was Bishop of Winchester, where he spent all his money 
on the good of the See, repairing the great castle of Farnham and 
building a fine house by Wolvesey ruins in the city of Winchester. 
He never had a wife and he would not spend his money on him- 
self, only by way of hospitality, for he was ever generous. Mr. I. 
Walton and his daughters had ever rooms for them in his house. 
When that good man died he left to my lord a mourning ring 
with the words ' A mite for a million.' But my lord was not 
a fisherman like his friend the Compleat Angler, yet it is said that 
it was from him there came these words in that famous booke. 

' It is observed by the most learned physician that the 
casting off of Lent, and other fish days, which hath not only given 
the lie to so many learned, pious, and wise founders of colleges, 
for which we should be ashamed, hath doubtless been the chief 
cause of those many putrid, shaking, intermitting agues unto 
which this nation of ours is now more subject than those wiser 
countries that feed on herbs, salads and plenty of fish ; of which 
it is observed in story that the greatest part of the world now do. 
And it may be fit to remember that Moses, Levit. xi. 9. Deut. 
xiv. 9, appointed fish to be the chief diet for the best common- 
wealth that ever yet was.' He was himself a great eater of fish, 
and at one of his abodes (? which) had a great stewpond. His 
friend Mr. Walton could not induce him to eat the chubb, but 
he was fond of carp. Also he would say when he watched, as 
he sometimes would, the Angler at worke in the stream that runs 
through the close, while the boyes could be heard at their practice, 
with the organs playing in the cathedral, gaudebant carmine phocae, 
as saith Valerius Flaccus, and would ask the children if they 
had ever seen the Bishopp fishe, which is told of by Rondeletius 
and vouched of by Bellonius, yet he never could find one who had 
save a little Welsh boye who saide they swam in the sea by Llanelly, 
which I do not think to be true. 


Peter Mews (1619-1706). 

This bishop was an honest old cavalier. He came of a 
Dorsetshire family that bore arms : Or 3 Pales gules. On a chief 
azure 3 cross crosslets Argent. I say this because a wit hath said 
his arms were 3 catts rampant regardant. He came after the 
good Bishop Morley, and he will live to an age still greater than 
he, if I be not much mistook, for he is an hardy man, of a tough 
spirit and hath been a warrior in his time. He weareth a black 
patch upon his cheeke to cover his old wound which he gained 
when he fought for the King in Scotland in 1653. Mr. Wood 
saith and very truly that he is much beloved for his hospitality, 
generosity, justice and frequent preachings. At Sedgmoor he 
directed the cannons against the Duke of Monmouth's rabble (it 
may be then that he received his wound ?) ; but he was not a 
favourer of Popery. It was he who restored the Fellows to 
Magdalen College when the King had turned them out and he 
instituted Dr. Hough in the President's place in spite of the King. 
If a sickness had not befallen him he would have been with our 
seven brave bishops in their trial and prison. 

King Charles, because of the many wounds he had received 
in his father's service and his own, and because he was very skilful 
in all royal business, gave him many preferments, a list which 
it irks to write. The chief of all, the noble church of Winton, 
he did indeed richly deserve. Therein he showed his great attach- 
ment to his college in Oxford (wherein he had held the President's 
place) by the number of its sons whom he brought into his 
chapter. Himself also married Dr. Baylie's daughter who was 
great-niece to Archbishop Laud. 

The worthy Mr. Waple, to whom his college gave the famous 
Church of the Sepulchre in Newgate, was one of his prebendaries. 
He was a good charitable man, and no enemy to any Christian, 
yet he would not suffer any to take the Sacrament sitting, as 
King William's men wished. Yet was he chief consecrater of 
Dr. Tillotson. I have heard him say, though he was so stout a 
Protestant, that he believed what Mr. Evelyn wrote to be very true, 
as thus : ' Having for my own particular a very great charity 
for all who sincerely adore the blessed Jesus, our common and 
dear Saviour, as being full of hope that God (however the present 
zeal of some and the scandals taken by others at the instant 
afflictions of the Church of England may transport them) will at 
last compassionate our infirmities, clarify our judgments, and 
make abatement of our ignorances, superstructures, passions, 
and errors of corrupt times and interests, of which the Roman 
VOL. LH. NO. 307, N.S. 6 


persuasion can no way acquit herself, whatever the present 
prosperity and secular polity may portend.' 

A witty thing was said of him in my hearing. When someone 
spoke of his great preferments another said * he did not bear the 
sword in vain.' 

It will be seen that the fragments on Mews are unfinished ; 
and more evidently so than those on Paddy and Morley. They, 
like so many in Dr. Andrew Clark's admirable edition of the 
* Brief Lives,' are very rough and incomplete notes. Aubrey, who 
was ten years younger than Bishop Mews, may well have expected 
to survive him. But the opportunity to learn more did not come, 
for while the Bishop lived on till 1706 (when it is said that a young 
scholar of Winchester College foretold the bishop's death, and 
his own), Aubrey died in 1697, aged seventy-one. Thus the date 
of Bishop Mews's death on the MS. is a later addition. 



SOPHIA and I had observed Phoebe together for the past three 
years. Sophia, of course, had always intermittently observed 
her niece ; but it was not until Sophia married me that I ever met 
the child. She came to stay with us in our first home the home 
on a sunny hillside where the nightingales sang amongst the 
apple-blossom and lilac weeks before less happy people realised 
Spring had come. 

Phoebe was like Spring the Spring of the rathe primrose, the 
first daffodil : not the Spring of lush grass and full florescence, 
of riotous kingcups, flashing kingfishers. She was timid : with 
the timidity of a flower rather than that of a timorous bird or 
animal. She did not come out into the open and then shrink 
back into shelter : she remained hidden. In a company of wood- 
anemones it would not be Phoebe's if the behaviour were strident ; 
she had about as much assertiveness as a wild lily-of-the-valley. 
A field-mouse has more definite self-assurance. She invited 
domination and her family had responded to the invitation. 
Her father had snubbed her, her mother had tyrannised over 
her ; her two elder sisters had treated her exactly as we believe 
Cinderella's sisters to have treated Cinderella. Her father had 
been cross with her all her life for her being a girl when he had 
determined on a son a displeasure which was not to be lived 
down. Her mother had not wanted a third child at all. Her 
sisters had wanted a pink Japanese mouse, and had been put off 
with this pink-faced baby instead. She had satisfied nobody, 
and it was all dreadfully unfortunate. No one ever pretended to 
be pleased to see her ; they were not pleased and they were 
completely honest. Phoebe was in the way. She was not a boy ; 
she was not even a Japanese mouse. She was ' another girl ' ; 
she was ' poor Mrs. Canderson's disappointment.' And so they 
bullied her. They bullied her for sixteen years without stopping 
once. Then her mother discovered that she was anaemic and 
wrote to Sophia about her. Sophia, who had been sorry for Phoebe 
for sixteen years, clutched at the anaemia and invited her to 
come on a visit of indefinite duration. Hitherto, when Sophia 
had invited Phoebe, one of her sisters, without any explanation, 


had always turned up instead. But now that Phoebe was ill she 
no longer came vicariously. 

Her visit lasted for three years. At the end of it she married 
my cousin, Fielding Diss. 

On the evening of the wedding-day, Sophia, flushed with ex- 
haustion and triumph, came out into the garden to talk. The 
evening was still sweet-scented. It was early October, a sort 
of June-October, with the beauty that is poignant in its sense of 
irremediable eclipse. There were roses, roses even lovelier than 
in June ; but one's delight in them was a hurried delight one 
appreciated breathlessly ; change was so near. The light in the 
sky above the oak copse was radiant as in summer, but we had 
it on a declining lease. Everything was running down, out, 
away getting shorter, scarcer, feebler. Often I wonder how we 
outlive autumn how any life is kept alive. 

I looked at Sophia. She was very much alive. 

f I feel that Phoebe has got her chance at last,' said she with 
satisfaction. I smiled at her ; one is obliged to smile at Sophia. 
But I felt less satisfaction. Fielding Diss is my cousin ; and I 
had seen marriages before from which all were to get their chance. 
Well, perhaps they got it. But they got little else. 

* She has been re-born to-day as Mrs. Fielding Diss,' Sophia 
went on. ' As Miss Phcebe Canderson she had no chance, no 
personality, no existence. The ceremony to-day was much more 
a christening than a wedding : it endowed her with a name, in 
comparison with which a husband is incidental. She is some- 
body now/ 

1 You say that her wedding should more correctly be regarded 
as a christening ? ' 

* Certainly. Until now she has been wholly negative, " not 
wanted " including every other negation. Her own family labelled 
her <e Not wanted on the voyage," and she was lowered into the 
hold from the day. of her birth.' 

' And Fielding was the steam-crane that hauled her out ? ' 
'No, we hauled her out: you and I. Fielding was the taxi 
that picked her up on the quay and drove away with her.' 

1 You really think that she will become something vivid ? ' 
' I think she may become simply anything. She may wear 
red-and-yellow dresses. She may order Fielding about. She 
may waste his money and tell him so to his face. She may con- 
tradict her father. She may correct your literary style.' 


' And all because Fielding married her ? But you, Sophij 
you do none of those things. And yet I did you the inestimable 
advantage of marrying you. 5 

' On the contrary, dearest, I did you the inestimable advant- 
age of marrying you. After which what red-and-yellow dress was 
necessary ? ' 

' And when you waste my money I never find it out ? ' 

' When I waste your money I pretend it's only my clever way 
of saving it.' 

And so we stopped talking about Phoebe. We leaned over 
the garden gate stayed there until we remembered only our- 
selves. Phoebe faded, in her red-and-yellow dress ; the roses, so 
soon to fade in reality, faded already from our realisation ; the 
sky above the western copse faded from a dream into night. But 
we remained remained until Sophia gave a little cry and remem- 
bered that there were mushrooms for supper. 

1 Only mushrooms ? ' I queried. 

* Mushrooms and wedding-cake.' 

So we went indoors. 

But there were really other things besides. 

We saw nothing of Phoebe for a year. She wrote from time 
to time to Sophia, but her letters were all about us they con- 
tained nothing about herself. 

1 They are the letters of an unhappy woman,' said Sophia 

' Why ? ' said I, although I thought I knew. But I like 
Sophia to tell me things. I like it because she likes it so much. 

1 When you are happy, you write about what you are doing* 
It is all so jolly, you have to. When you are unhappy, you remem- 
ber to inquire after your correspondent's interests. Phoebe is 
even solicitous about our hens and potatoes. Now nobody with 
much joie de vivre about her gives a thought to the hens of her 
aunt or the potatoes of her uncle.' 

I picked up Phoebe's last letter, which lay on Sophia's writing- 
table. It was very neat, and it fitted in the most estimable manner 
into the sheet of note-paper selected for it. It had nothing over- 
flowing about it. 

I read it. 

I laid it down. 

' No sign whatever of the red-and-yellow dress,' I said. 
* Phcebe is not asserting herself.' 


' And I am afraid Fielding is not asserting her.' 

I was silent. As I have already remarked, Fielding Diss is 
my cousin. 

' I think we'd better go to London and see Phoebe.' And 
Sophia stood up and straightened herself. She is always straight ; 
when she straightens herself . . . well, this time it meant London. 

We went, and we saw Phoebe. She was one of the many 
charming things in Fielding's house. But she had less personality 
than the parlourmaid ; obviously she counted for less. It was 
an effort, hostess as she was, to remember her presence in the 
room. We did not see Fielding ; for we lunched with Phoebe, 
and it was her husband's practice to lunch at his club. 

' And how is your garden ? ' asked Phoebe, when Sophia had 
finished telling all about my new book and I had finished telling 
all about Sophia's new curtains. 

* Oh, the garden . . . ' and off went Sophia rather feverishly. 
The garden done with, Phoebe asked about our neighbours. 

Th3 neighbours disposed of, she passed on to the poultry. It 
was all exactly like her letters : inanimate, unselfish, detached. 
We came away feeling miserable. 

* Was she bullied too long ? ' queried Sophia wistfully. ' I 
mean at home. I don't mean that she is bullied now.' 

' No,' I agreed. ' I don't think she is bullied now. Neg- 
lected, possibly ; but then, poor child, she is so negligible.' 

' It was a very difficult visit/ sighed Sophia. ' I felt that 
it was tactless to carry happiness such as mine into Phoebe's 
house. I was making a vulgar display ; I was wearing my dia- 
monds in the presence of a woman who possessed only a poor 
pearl or two. I felt I sat and glared I mean that I made a 
glare for Phoebe's weak eyes. I wanted to tone myself down : to 
make out that I merely made the best of things that you were 
no better than you should be, and that my brave array was only 
my brave face, while my smile was hollow.' 

Upon which, of course, I kissed Sophia's dimple, that being 
the only hollow thing about her smile. 

* Your tact has my permission to carry you whither it will. 
Trample on my character ; tell Phoebe anything. And I have 
never aimed at being better than I should be ; being as good as 
I should be is bother enough. Only make Phoebe happier and 
more important/ 

' I can't,' said Sophia. 


* But you are so good at happiness. Look at me. Look at 
the hens. I am so happy, and they are so important.' 

' Phoebe is neither a hen nor a husband. And nothing 
happened to stiffen her during her years with us. Kemember 

In the end we agreed that we could only give Phoebe time. 
I don't know how we fancied it was ours to give. 

A year was time enough. 

In a year Phoebe's parlourmaid was entirely eclipsed ; Phoebe's 
husband was no longer permitted to lunch at his club ; and Sophia 
and I were summoned to London to make obeisance before Phoebe's 

We went in the spirit of the Magi. We found a complacent 
babe, a mother struggling between super-pride and over-anxiety, 
a great ox of a nurse, a little donkey of a nursemaid, and, some- 
where in the background, daring neither to assert nor to absent 
himself, hanging about, subservient, shamefaced, with a some- 
what set smile Fielding. 

It was the triumph of the mother. 

Man adult man had been set in his proper place. In other 
words, Fielding's rooms had been taken from him and converted 
into nurseries. Phoebe attended to him only when her son could 
not possibly want his mother. Phoebe swept about ; she no longer 
(so to speak) shut the door after her. Her voice was pitched on 
a fuller, and at the same time higher, note ; command rang in it. 
Her husband obeyed her ; had she not considered herself he 
would have considered her. 
The cook left. 

Returning from London, Sophia and I reached our own home 
aghast. In Sophia's hand was a small parcel. It was a rejected 
offering. It contained a small white jacket. The baby had 
signified its disapproval of Sophia's small white jacket. So we had 
brought it back with us. ' It will do for some village child,' Phoebe 
had said. We had meekly acquiesced. 

' She is spoilt,' said Sophia, sinking into the softest and most 
comforting of our arm-chairs. 

' Or redeemed ? ' said I, remaining standing. I had meant 


to sink into the softest and most comforting of our arm-chairs 
myself. So the line I took was slightly argumentative. 
' Redeemed ? She is perfectly horrid.' 

* Well, she is no longer overlooked or ignored.' 

* No ; you cannot overlook vulgarity nor ignore bad manners.' 
' She has merely overdone her colour scheme.' 

' Her colour scheme ? ' 

* Her red-and-yellow dress.' 
Sophia laughed. 

* She is utterly different,' she said. * One would think she 
had never been here never seen the place, never loved it (she 
used to say she loved it), never cared for us. When I told her 
the magnolia was dead in spite of my hot water bottle and all 
that straw, she replied that the baby's hair was certainly going 
to be curly.' 

* And since it has no hair at all at present, you could not 
contradict her. I saw your predicament. And when I observed 
to her that I was thinking of raising the south wall four feet, she 
looked dreamy and said : " Feet, Uncle Frank ? Yes, ar'n't they 
the sweetest things ? " and kissed the creature's toes.' 

' Well, she has heard you speak of raising the south wall 
before, you know, darling. Not so often as I have, perhaps, 
but still, many times before.' 

* Not at all,' I replied. ' And I think, Sophia, that you might 
let me sit down in my own chair.' 

But Sophia sat still. 

* I was just going to ask you to make up the fire,' she said. 
I gave in. After all, it was the quickest way into my chair. 
I made up the fire and drew up a small stool a stool whose 

hardness must soften Sophia's heart. 

It did instantly. 

She got up. 

' We have ceased to exist, Frank, you and I ; or rather, we 
exist in one character only. We live in that we have a great- 
nephew the great-nephew, I ought to say, but it doesn't sound 

I looked at Sophia, who stood in all her delicious existence 
before me. There were no signs of her having been felled to the 
earth even by Phoebe's all-powerful infant. 

' And she lives in her father's eyes for the first time ; she lives 
as the mother of his grandson and heir.' Sophia could not 
leave it alone. 


' Yes,' said I, ' that really is queer. He is pleased with her 
at last ; she had produced what she herself should, in his opinion, 
have been.' 

' Altogether she is most frightfully important.' 

' Bumptious. And if bumptious, happy. So there we are ; 
it's what we wanted for her. We've got it. But she is spoilt.' 

1 1 said that last time.' 

' Well, of course it's true. Repletion is a fulsome sort of 
thing. She has the unseemliness of surfeit, of excess. A daughter 
might have been comparatively harmless. Or an ailing boy.' 

' Oh, don't. Perhaps he will never live to grow up.' 

' Nonsense, Sophia. His hair will curl through a radiant 
adolescence to a ripe maturity, when, choosing death rather than 
dishonour . . . ' 

' Death 1 ' interjected Sophia. 

' Do not interrupt me . . . death rather than dishonour, it 
will leave him with the polished surface of an aldermanic pate.' 

' You generally say that grey hairs are honourable.' 

' Ah, that is when I've just seen my parting in a strong light.' 

Sophia sighed. 

c Anyhow, we are not wanted any more.' 

' No. And it is so beastly nice to be wanted.' 

' I want you,' said Sophia. 

And I do not think she doubted that I wanted her. 

But no one wanted the small white jacket, which remained 
in its parcel on the top shelf of Sophia's wardrobe. 

Soon afterwards Sophia and I left England to spend a winter 
in Georgia. Our departure was not wholly due to Phoebe's 
rejection of us. We did not forget Phoebe ; neither did we think 
of her very often. I thought most of all of Sophia's lungs ; and 
Sophia thought most of how good and brave it was of me to 
accompany her lungs to Georgia when I must be wanting to be in 
England. Just as if England had any charms for me when Sophia's 
lungs were in Georgia ! 

Phosbe wrote occasionally to say that James Fielding Norton 
Dieudonne had now got ... I forget how many teeth, but the 
number, it was implied, was simply extraordinary ; or that he 
had been staying in the country or on the East Coast ; or that 
he weighed a preposterous reckoning of Ib. and oz. But he 
never asked how many teeth I still had left, or whether Sophia 


continued to lose in weight ; and his mother did not seem to wish 
to make these inquiries for her own satisfaction- if James Field- 
ing Norton Dieudonne did not care to know, neither did she. 
Sophia replied appropriately. 

Then, after we had spent a second Georgian winter and were 
preparing to return to England, came a letter from Fielding. He 
wrote to say that James Fielding Norton Dieudonne was dead- 
returned to God who gave him. During his mother's absence 
at her father's funeral he had died of meningitis. And might he 
(Fielding) bring Phoebe to Sophia as soon as we reached home ? 

He did so. 

It was Spring again, timid, etherial, warm Spring, to which 
we used to liken Phcebe, who now, white and spectral, 

more dreary cold 

Than a forsaken bird's-nest filled with snow 
'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine 

resembled rather Grief, but Grief bereaved even out of the power 
of grieving. 

Memory had passed from her. Her marriage and motherhood 
might never have been. She spoke neither of her husband, of 
her home, nor of the child ; she wrote no letters, and the letters 
she received she passed over to Sophia unopened. Fielding came 
several times to see her ; she received him as a faintly familiar 
guest. He did not attempt to stay longer than a few hours ; after 
his departure on the first occasion she asked how we came to know 
him. I replied that he was a cousin of mine. 

' Then is he a sort of cousin of mine too ? ' queried she vaguely. 

* Yes/ Sophia said, ' and we are so fond of him. But don't 
you remember him ? ' 

' I think I do a little,' said Phoebe. ' I think he has been here 

' He has. But hav'n't you seen him anywhere else ? ' 

' I believe I remember him at a funeral. I once saw him 
crying at a funeral. It must have been at Daddy's funeral. 
Wasn't it ? ' 

What could Sophia do but acquiesce ? 

Phoebe etill lives with us. Sophia has twice suggested her 
returning to Fielding, but Phcebe has not understood. 


' Certainly I will go with you to stay with your cousin if he 
asks me as well as you, but I could not go alone. What are you 
thinking of, Sophia ? I could not go and stay with your cousin 

We cannot venture on taking her into that house. Neither 
does Fielding wish it. ' I lost them both at the same time/ he 
says, ' but her ghost returned to you, not to me. Only go on 
loving it. And do not force it back into a grave. I do as I can/ 

It is true ; he does as he can. 

So does Phoebe. 

So do Sophia and I. 

And so did James Fielding Norton Dieudonne. 




THAT Red Tapeism exists outside Government offices is not 
generally recognised ; yet it is manifest in the vogue of the 
testimonial, especially one from a clergyman. It is surprising 
that in a practical age like ours this sort of witness to character 
and capacity was not scrapped long ago ; but its cult apparently 
grows stronger every day. The clergyman of a large parish must 
spend much of his time in recommending all sorts of people for 
all sorts of places ; and sometimes with his pen in his hand, before 
commencing, he has to stop to think where and when he saw the 
applicant before, or if this was the first time. The Establishment 
is a national asset. Parishioners have a habit, delightful in its 
assurance, of knocking at his door ' Testimonial, please ! ' and 
in many cases they know no other use of the vicar. This by- 
product of a National Church counts for advantage. The 
established clergy from their position fulfil a useful purpose in 
subscribing to admirable qualities and qualifications in other 
people ; and if, on the whole, they take a roseate view as exponents 
of a charity that hopeth all things, this arises from two praise- 
worthy motives : it is natural and perfectly nice in them to wish 
to gratify a parishioner, and in their daily contact with so much 
misery and sorrow they see enough of the burden of the world 
to make them eager to help wherever they possibly can. No 
one would begrudge a few kindly words on half a sheet of note- 
paper which may give a man a lift in life and possibly affect all 
his future. Besides, the clergy are famed for their unworldly 
principles, for their unbusiness-like qualities, and for their 
courtesy ; and if some of them cannot preach, they can all write 
testimonials, and the layman without attending church is the 
first to recognise it. 

But, from a different standpoint, the testimonial is not satis- 
factory, to say the least. Why, then, does it flourish ? Because 
custom is strong ; because the conventional rules us ; and because 
the better alternative of private and confidential references would 
entail too much trouble in other quarters. The present writer 
has had to do with reading or writing testimonials all the days 
of his life, and feels he speaks with some expert knowledge. 


Of course, three persons are involved in the transaction the 
applicant, the giver, and the receiver, or third party. But if 
the third party does not know the giver, he lacks essential data 
from which to form a judgment on what he reads. This is nearly 
always the case, and, in consequence, commendatory terminology 
is nearly always misleading. We differ in temperament ; we 
differ in our modes of expression on paper ; and both of these 
are factors in the production of a recommendation. The style of 
the stockbroker and that of the poet may differ considerably 
when they sit down to write. One man is profuse with words, 
another concise ; one is off-hand and imaginative, another 
pragmatical. A single word from one person may be worth more 
than twenty from another. But the third party cannot tell this, 
if he is a perfect stranger. Once upon a time the present writer, 
anxious for preferment, was compelled to ask his churchwarden, 
a retired butler, for a recommendation. The unclerical reader 
must bear in mind that there is in the Church of England great 
competition for incumbencies with a living wage. This is a 
verbatim copy of the churchwarden's recommendation : 

' 265A Lower Street, 



' The Vicar has performed his duties to my satisfaction. 

' Yours truly, 

' J. SMITH/ 

As an unadorned statement it was admirable, but its severe 
simplicity gave it an appearance of damning with faint praise. 
There was, however, more in it than met the eye. Mr. Smith 
was a man of few words and high ideals, which it did not occur 
to him to mention. Those who knew him could judge accordingly ; 
but the patrons did not know him ; they no more knew him and 
his ideals than they did the man in the moon, and the writer 
had the mortification of seeing a thoroughly good living go to 
his junior, whose churchwarden was not only of superior social 
status, but was also more ready with his pen. 

Practice in the art of composing testimonials begets too often 
a professional touch. Style predominates over accuracy. Every- 
one knows the temptation of adding an extra word or two for the 
sake of the cadence. And that extra word or two may be a deciding 
factor. The custom, too, of placing the manuscript straight into 


the applicant's hands is another point in his favour. It is a system 
by which the unvarnished truth runs considerable risks. Most 
of us have a higher estimate of ourselves than others have of us, 
and it does not conduce to candour or soberness of statement 
about a person, when we know that what we have written will 
be read by him, as soon as he gets out of the door. It is a delicate 
situation for anybody, and especially so when it occurs between 
a clergyman and one of his parishioners. 

The correspondent of an elementary school, if he is wise, will 
not seriously consider testimonials about teachers. The * good 
disciplinarian ' on her arrival will not, as a rule, show any 
superiority in that direction over one who has not been credited 
with the qualification. There is so much of a muchness about 
these recommendations that, provided the names and addresses 
were erased, the head teacher himself would find it a difficult 
task to re-distribute them to their proper owners. Somewhat 
analogously, there is an annual similarity in the reports of our 
Diocesan Inspector of Religious Knowledge. For the past twenty 
years they have been true to type : * The writing was neat and 
tidy ; the spelling fair on the whole ; the children showed an 
eagerness in answering ; the school is making good progress.' By 
rights we should by now be at the top of the diocese. 

The testimonial is kept alive by its suppressio veri. Yet its 
negative value, its absence of mention of anything detrimental, 
is also untrustworthy. A positively truthful description of a 
person never happens. It is altogether out of the question. No 
one ever gave or received a testimonial like this : ' Mr. Brown is 
a good gardener, honest and fairly steady ; but he is extremely 
self-willed and has a horrible temper.' At times it is the greater 
charity to hide an item of truth. The present writer did it once 
before the war, in days perhaps not of stricter morality but of 
stricter public opinion about it. With the easy morals of the 
village, where nature reigns, the young girl had fallen the only 
occasion and her regrets were genuine ; her character rehabilitated, 
she would never do it again. The only thing to be done was to 
keep a certain fact out of her record for her to have a new start 
in a new place, else punishment would have followed her for all 
her days because she stumbled once. Not to mention the fact 
was unfair to her future mistress ; to' mention it, disastrous to 
the girl, who had most at stake and was the under-dog. The 
compromise of mentioning the fact and covering it with extenua- 


tions would have saved one's conscience, but it would not have 
saved the girl. 

No testimonial is talismanic against the influx of evil. What 
at its best is only a record of the past cannot be a guarantee 
for the future. Yet some people will persist in regarding it as 
a sort of charm or as a promissory note. The present writer 
remembers one day a motor-car driven furiously up to his door, 
and the bell rung violently twice in succession. Without preamble 
the Jehu, a total stranger, shouted truculently : * I say, Kate 
Duster's stolen my wife's jewellery ! ' The writer, taken aback 
and forgetting for the moment who Kate Duster was, asked what 
that had got to do with him. ' Everything/ said Jehu, ' she's 
our parlourmaid ; you vouched for her honesty ; we took her on 
your recommendation.' 

Myself : * Let me see. I remember now. You wrote to me, 
Was she honest ? I replied, Yes. Well, her parents and brothers 
and sisters are perfectly honest, and I never heard she wasn't 
until this moment. What else could I have replied ? She's been 
with you about a year. Sixteen months, was it ? ' 

Sometimes courage is needed in getting a testimonial to one's 
liking. The very particular man often succeeds in his demand, 
and he will not be put off with anything evasive. This was years 
ago, but not long enough ago to be out of date. In a great public 
department, not far from Whitehall, on a reduction of the staff, 
Jones, of little experience and much of a duffer, had to go. Jones, 
who had a lisp, was not satisfied with his farewell testimonial. 
A lesser man would have bemoaned his fate in secret ; but Jones, 
with the disappointing testimonial in his hand, forced his way 
into the chief's office, and blurted out, ' Misther , thith won't 
do for me ! ' Instead of kicking him out of the room, as every- 
body had expected, the great man turned round mildly and said 
' Very well, I'll write you another.' This was done, and then 
Jones met with success at the War Office, where he rose to a high 
position ; and he has always traced his good fortune to the testi- 
monial he won for himself on the occasion of his dismissal for 
incompetence. He had a namesake who was transferred from a 
private department to one more in contact with the outside public, 
for which position suavity of demeanour and equability of temper 
were necessary qualifications. This namesake was the worst man 
in the world for the job, being moody and quarrelsome ; but he 
was given a trial, and failed lamentably. Finally, he was dis- 


missed the Civil Service, and at once obtained a mercantile post 
at Manchester. A former comrade of his, speaking about it to 
the head of his department, said it was strange that anyone could 
be found to offer employment so soon to a confirmed drunkard, 
up to his ears in debt, and with a temper no man could put up 
with. The reply was, ' The reason is, it depended on my judicious 
wording.' Judicious wording is a pregnant phrase, and is too 
often the main difficulty confronting the perplexed writer of 
these conventional favours. 

Medical certificates may perhaps be regarded as testimonials 
about our physical bodies as distinguished from our mental and 
moral characteristics which form the sphere of the testimonial 
proper. The writer's friend, now an eminent public servant, was 
in his younger years sometimes desirous of a sudden extension 
of leave. One year, on a visit to Glasgow, he did not want, for 
intimate personal reasons, to return to work for some weeks ; 
and as he was staying at a doctor's house, it was aptly managed. 
But perhaps this is not quite a fair example, as the doctor was 
his cousin. Certainly the writer's own experience of the medical 
profession is that its members, on the whole, are not easily got 
over. He knows that in his parish the local doctor during the 
period of control was almost daily besieged with applications for 
certificates for extra rations, sometimes of whisky and sometimes 
of other things, but without effect, although the applicants were 
his best-paying patients. 

Close corporations with livings in their gift think a lot of 
testimonials. That was why a clerical friend of the writer was 
compelled to write his own eulogy. Paradoxical as it may seem, 
he could not help himself. He said he did not particularly like 
the job, but what else could he do ? A better living was half 
promised him, on condition his churchwardens supported his 
application. The difficulty was that neither of them belonged to 
that class of life from which it is usual to get characters about 
clergymen. Both were rather illiterate. If the reader will 
imagine a colonel requesting two corporals for an estimate of his 
capacities to forward to the War Office, he will grasp the situation. 
The churchwardens said they would do their best. After many 
days they said they had tried, but failed, and thought it would 
be a better plan for the vicar himself to write out what he wished 
them to say in his behalf, and they would sign it with pleasure. 
Speaking of it subsequently, the vicar asked the present writer 


what he thought of it. ' Not quite straightforward ? ' 'I confess/ 
said the vicar, ' I don't see it in that light. Someone had to do 
it, and the churchwardens, as you can imagine, would have made 
a mess of it. Besides, it was their proposition, which was what 
the patrons asked for. Anyhow, I said nothing untrue about 
myself, and the churchwardens by signing it made it their own.' 
What did he say about himself ? * Oh ! the usual things,' he 
replied ; ' attractive preacher, liberal views, diligent visitor, 
organising powers, influence over young men. In fact, I copied 
it from a clerical advertisement in a religious newspaper.' Did 
he get the new living ? ' Why,' said he, ' I am in it now.' 

* And, d'you know,' he added after a pause, " the churchwardens 
were so delighted with my successor, that I've sometimes thought 
they too were anxious for a change.' 

H. H. S. 

VOL. LII. NO. 307, N,S. 



SOME eighteen years ago, the Mayor of Eastbourne was sorely 
perplexed, sorely troubled, too. As Mayor, it was his duty to 
see that fair treatment was meted^out to the poor, was meted out 
also to the ratepayers ; that, while the poor were well cared for, 
not a penny of the ratepayers' money was wasted. And, let him 
try as he would, he could not shut his eyes to the fact that, in the 
workhouse -and it was there that a large amount of the money 
was spent the treatment meted out was grossly unfair, and that 
there was great waste as well as great misery. 

In the workhouse all sorts and conditions were shut up together ; 
wastrels, ex-vagrants, ex-criminals, and decent old men and 
women ; they who had never done a stroke of honest work, and 
they who had toiled and moiled early and late. They were all, 
worthless and worthy, treated in the same fashion ; and, in theory, 
they all fared alike. In practice, however, the worthless fared 
much better than the worthy ; for they did not care a whit with 
whom they lived, whereas, living with them, in close companion- 
ship too, was for the worthy a terrible trial, a source not only of 
endless annoyance and friction, but of bitter humiliation and 
shame. Old wastrels were therefore quite fairly comfortable in 
the House, while respectable old folk were wretched ; and all the 
money spent on trying to make them happy was wasted. 

That the Mayor, Mr. C. F. Simmons, knew, of course ; it was 
at the root, indeed, of his trouble. For, being a humane man, a 
staunch economist to boot, he strongly disapproved of worthy old 
people having to live in misery ; disapproved also of ratepayers' 
money being wasted. There was something wrong somewhere, 
he was sure, something that ought to be righted ; and before 
very long he had firmly made up his mind to try to right it ; nay, 
more, he was already hard at work trying to find out how the 
righting could best be done. 

He had none too much leisure in those days ; but, what he had, 
he gave up to going about among the poor, getting into touch with 
them, finding out what makes most for happiness among them, 
what most for misery. It was only among the respectable poor 
that he went ; he left the whole wastrel tribe unvisited ; for it 


was no hardship for them, he held, to go to the workhouse in their 
old age. And those whom he was bent on helping were those 
for whom going there was a hardship, old men and women who 
had been worsted in the fight, who were poor through no fault 
of their own, and who were striving hard to ward off destitution 
lest, if it came, go there they must. 

Many old people who have some little savings are haunted by 
the fear that an end may come to their savings before an end 
comes to their lives, or before they can claim Old-Age pensions. 
Many who have seen better days cannot put the dread out of their 
minds, that worse days even than those they are having may lie 
before them, unless the Fates with their shears intervene. These 
people appealed to Mr. Simmons with special force ; for not only 
are they miserable when they go to the workhouse, but the mere 
thought that they may have to go there is a real trouble to them, 
a ceaseless anxiety, years before they go, even if they go. And 
some of them never go. They stoutly refuse to go, even when 
face to face with the fact that not going may mean for them neg- 
lect, squalor, suffering, ending, perhaps, in something akin to a 
ditch. And they refuse not through any fear of ill-treatment in 
the workhouse, any fear of being left there on short commons ; 
but, in nine cases out of ten, because, were they to go, they would 
have to pass their days and nights with those around them who 
would jar upon them at every turn, wound their feelings, outrage 
all their notions of what is decent ; and that they feel they could 
not bear. Nor could they bear that their old friends and neigh- 
bours should see them living with these wastrels around them, 
on terms of equality with them. 

It is bad enough to lose one's liberty, to be at the beck and call 
of officials, ' with a bell for this and a bell for that ' ; bad enough, 
too, to live in a huge mansion, when one has always lived in a 
cottage, and to eat with a crowd looking on. Still, all that is as 
nothing, in the eyes of many very worthy old men and women, 
compared with being housed together with rogues and vagabonds, 
ex-gay-ladies and the like, being placed on a par with them. That 
entails disgrace as well as misery, they feel, and is therefore an 
insuperable bar to their ever going to even the best of workhouses 
unless forced ; or, if forced, to their ever being there even fairly 

Mr. Simmons soon realised that, if the lot of the respectable 
poor were to be bettered, they must be freed from all fear of having 


to go the workhouse ; he realised also that the only way of freeing 
them from that fear was to provide them with some other refuge. 
For many of them are alone in the world : they have no ' belong- 
ings,' or only ' belongings ' with whom it is impossible for them 
to live. Thus they live alone, and there comes a time when living 
alone is a sorry business ; a time, indeed, to most, when it is practi 
cally impossible, when they must be somewhere where they have 
at any rate someone within hail to give them a helping hand, if 
needs be. And they who are alone-standing, as well as old and 
poor, have not much chance of being taken in to live with anyone, 
or of finding anyone to live with them. It is hard enough for them 
to find a room in which to live. Thus their little savings, if savings 
they have, are of no great use to them, when their strength fails 
them ; nor is out-relief, nor even an Old-Age pension of ten shil- 
lings a week. Go to the workhouse they must, unless they have 
some other refuge to which they can go : their only alternative is 
to live in squalor and die of neglect. Some other refuge they must 
have, therefore, he decided, although it was not easy at the moment 
to see where the money with which to provide it was to be found. 

The refuge must entail no raising of the rates : that was a 
point on which he was determined. For he was keenly alive to 
the fact that rates press heavily on lower middle-class people, many 
of whom are very needy ; some, very poor, much poorer than 
some who rank as the Poor. It is from the lower middle-class, 
indeed, that the respectable aged poor are mostly recruited. And 
the refuge must be one in which old folk could feel quite at home, 
and go their own way, one to which they would betake themselves 
gladly, knowing that being there would be accounted to them an 
honour, not a disgrace. On this point also he was determined. 
That such a refuge could be provided, he was convinced ; and, 
after much brain-cudgelling, much sifting of estimates, conning 
over of plans, he had strong evidence wherewith to convince 
others not only that it could be provided, but that, when provided, 
it would effect great savings in money as well as in misery. He 
had, in fact, already succeeded in framing a scheme for the organ- 
isation and working of a refuge which, far from raising the rates, 
would actually lower them. 

In the crusade he then started, the burden of his preaching 
was that to force decent old people to go to the workhouse was 
grossly extravagant as well as cruel, as a good half of what they 
cost the ratepayers while there was wasted. A poor toothless 


old woman is none the better for having hunks of beef, huge slabs 
of pudding, dealt out to her day by day ; electric bells and uniformed 
officials yield her neither profit nor pleasure. And such things 
cost much money ; whereas the things in which her heart delights, 
on which, if she be a decent old woman, her comfort hangs having 
respectable people around her, being treated with kindly defer- 
ence, being left to go her own way cost no money at all. More- 
over, whatever she costs in the workhouse falls as a rule entirely 
on the rates, no matter how many friends she may have who could 
contribute to her support ; for they have no inducement to help 
her when once she is there. Even if she have relatives, they rarely 
contribute a penny unless they are forced ; and the forcing is not 
easy. Were she, however, in a refuge, organised on the lines he 
proposed, it would be otherwise, he maintained ; as then friends and 
relatives alike would have a strong inducement to help her ; and 
she herself, already years before she was there, would have a 
strong inducement to husband any little savings she might have. 
He was able to prove that, in this refuge, the inmates would live 
in peace and comfort at less expense to their fellows than if they 
were living in the workhouse. It was for the sake of economy as 
well as humanity that the refuge must be built, he insisted. Thus 
he was in a strong position when he appealed for money where- 
with to build it ; and his appeal met with a generous response. 
The building was begun at once, the Duke of Devonshire providing 
the land on which it stands ; and, before it was finished, there 
was enough money to pay for it already in the bank. At the 
present time not only is it free from debt, but it has an endowment 
fund to fall back upon of 4341. For its current expenses it is 
dependent on voluntary subscriptions. 

The Home, or rather Homes for every inmate has his or her 
own home were started on a very modest scale : there were at 
first only rooms enough for sixteen inmates, while the applicants 
for admission numbered fifty and more. Almost as soon as the 
place was opened, however, the Rev. Herbert Alston, one of its 
most generous supporters, decided to add to it a wing as a memorial 
to King Edward ; and in 1913 he added a second wing, as a 
memorial to his own sister, thus completing the building as it was 
originally planned. By that time Queen Alexandra, whose name 
the Homes bear, had begun to take special interest in them, owing 
perhaps to the fact that they are organised and worked on much 
the same lines as an Old Folks' Retreat at Fredensborg, near where 


her early days were spent. Every year she sends them help out of 
her Rose Fund ; and from time to time she makes them presents. 

The Alexandra Homes are on the outskirts of Eastbourne, 
within an easy walk of the streets where the working classes mostly 
live ; and that is a great satisfaction to the inmates, as it enables 
them to pay visits to their old friends and neighbours, and thus 
keep in touch with the outside world. There are enough rooms 
there now for thirty inmates, as well as for the matron, and a nurse 
when one is required. Every room is nicely furnished ; the chairs 
are all easy chairs, and the beds are beds which even the fretful 
find comfortable. Each inmate has his own room which is regarded 
as his private property, his home, and which he furnishes if he 
can ; otherwise it is furnished for him. Married couples have 
two rooms, a bedroom and a sitting-room ; and so have 
sisters, if they throw in their lot together. Then there is a fine 
large hall which is for the use of all the inmates ; it serves as a 
church or chapel on Sundays, and a general recreation room 
on other days. There are also common kitchens, where such of 
them as choose may do their cooking ; and various little verandas, 
where they can sit and bask in the sunshine. 

The Homes have before them a flower garden ; and behind 
them a large vegetable garden, where there is an allotment for 
every inmate who has both the wish and the strength to cultivate it. 
Beyond the flower garden is the Aerodrome, which is even to the 
very feeble a source of endless interest, excitement, and pleasure. 
Thus the thirty old folk who live there are very well housed, in 
pleasant surroundings, too ; yet they are housed a note-worthy 
fact -at less expense to their fellows than if they were housed in 
the workhouse. 

The cost of building the Homes, the two wings as well as the 
original block, was 3000 ; and had everything been bought, 
instead of many things, including the land, being given, the cost 
of fitting them up, furnishing them, etc., together with the cost of 
the land, would have amounted, roughly, to 1000 more. The 
actual cost of the Homes as they stand was, therefore, 4000. 
Now, had this 4000 been borrowed, at 4 per cent., as it could 
have been at the time it was spent, the annual interest on it would 
be 160 a year ; and that would practically be the rent of the 
Homes. Thus the thirty inmates are housed, so far as bare rent 
is concerned, at a cost of 160 a year ; or 3 Is. 6d. a week, i.e. at a 
cost per head of, fractions apart, 2s. a week. 


In addition to bare rent there are, of course, other expenses 
entailed by housing. The Homes must be kept in repair ; and 
keeping in repair is a fairly costly business ; so is rate-paying, 
and that too must be done. Then the place must be insured, 
its accounts must be audited, and its sundry expenses defrayed. 
Moreover, it is supplied with water ; and, excepting in the private 
rooms, with gas. In 1920 

s. d. 

Repairs and maintenance cost . . 20 8 10 
Rates . . 7 18 6 

Gas and Water . . 9 7 10 

Insurance . . 3 19 5 

Printing and Stationery . . 6 14 9 
Sundry expenses ,, . . 2 9 11 

Audit fee 220 

53 1 3 

These additional expenses amounted, therefore, to 53 Is. 3d. 
for the year, or 1 Os. 4fd. a week, i.e. to Sd. per head a week. 
Thus the full cost of housing, of rent together with the additional 
expenses, was 2s. Sd. per week. That is what each of the old 
men and women in the Homes actually cost, or rather would cost, 
had the money for building the Homes been borrowed instead 
of being given. And according to the 1920 Official Report, the 
full cost of housing in the average workhouse, in England and 
Wales, is 3s. 9fd. Were the old people in the workhouse, they 
would therefore each cost in housing Is. l|d. a week more than they 
cost in the Homes ; and Is. If c. a week for one means 89 7s. 6d. 
a year for thirty. Thus, by their being lodged in these Homes, 
instead of in the average workhouse, a saving of 89 7s. 6dL a 
year is made in housing alone. And, as we shall see later, the 
saving in housing is but a small matter compared with the saving 
in official salaries, wages, etc. 

The Alexandra Homes are under the control and direction of 
a committee, of which Alderman Simmons is the chairman ; and 
they are managed by a resident matron, who is responsible to the 
committee for the well-being of all who live there. The committee 
decide who shall be admitted to the Homes ; and, through the 
honorary visitors they appoint, they watch over those admitted, 
and try to make things easy and pleasant for them. Should any 


inmate interfere with the comfort of his fellow inmates, should he 
not conform to the few simple rules in force for the general welfare, 
or should he in any way demean himself unworthily, the com- 
mittee have the right to send him away. For he is practically 
their tenant, as they charge rent for the Homes, one penny a week 
each ; and this penny their tenants pay gladly as, by paying it, 
they retain their votes, all their privileges, indeed, as free citizens. 
This right to send away for misconduct has, however, never been 
used but once ; for the inmates are all thoroughly respectable 
old people : that they must prove before they become inmates. 
The Homes close their doors inexorably against even ' speckled 
hens.' And very wisely ; for were it otherwise, they would soon 
cease to serve their purpose, as those for whom they were built 
would not go to them gladly. 

The Homes bar their doors also against chronic invalids, 
persons mentally weak or unsound, and persons in the receipt of 
poor relief. For they were never intended to serve as an infirmary, 
or a refuge for the destitute. From the first they have been reserved 
exclusively for those who, at the time of their admission, are 
strong enough to tend themselves, keep their own rooms clean, 
and who have some little means of their own, a proof of their 
thrift, of their having tried to lay something by against old age. 
They are housed, watched over, secured against neglect or ill- 
treatment ; they are provided with a doctor, nurse, etc., if they 
are ill ; but they are not ' just taken in and done for.' They are 
supplied with water ; a certain amount of coal is given to them, 
enough, if they are very careful, to last them the year ; and their 
corridors, public rooms, etc., are warmed and lighted for them. 
What else they require, however, either they themselves must buy 
or their friends must buy for them. No one is admitted to the 
Homes who has not an assured income large enough to pay for 
his food, clothing, and the lighting of his own room, until he 
receives his Old- Age Pension. 

Although the Old-Age Pension law was not in force when the 
Homes were opened, it was already being framed ; and under it 
a man or woman cannot claim a pension until he is seventy. 
He may, however, go to the Homes as soon as he is sixty-five ; for 
the Committee are alive to the fact that, even then, the strength of 
the average worker has begun to fail him, and he can no longer 
compete in the labour market with men of twenty-five. Between 
sixty-five and seventy, indeed, is now the most critical time in 


the life of a working man or woman the time when most of all 
he needs a helping hand if he is to escape destitution, and with it the 
workhouse. Still, if he is respectable, hard-working and thrifty, the 
chances are he has some little savings at sixty-five, enough to 
pay for food and clothing, with a trifle over, during the five years 
he must wait for his pension ; although not enough to pay also 
for his lodging, and the care he may need if he is alone-standing. 
Moreover, even if he has no savings, and that through no fault 
of his own, he is fairly sure to have some relative, friend, or former 
employer willing to guarantee the income required to secure him 
a home rather than see him go to the workhouse. For the respect- 
able aged poor are rarely quite friendless, even if belongingless ; 
and the income required is small. Before the war, in normal times, 
therefore, it was only 5s. a week for a single person, and Ss. for 
a couple. Now it is 10s. for a single person and 20s. for a couple. 
And the guarantee is only for five years at most, as an inmate is 
sure of his Old-Age pension at seventy. No single person with 
more than 20s. a week, or couple with more than 30s., is given a 

The old people who are admitted to the Homes know practi- 
cally that, when once they are there, there they will remain until 
the end of their days ; and that is a great joy to them ; it makes 
all the difference in life to them, indeed. The Committee have, 
it is true, the right to send away anyone who becomes a chronic 
invalid ; but they never use it excepting in cases requiring treat- 
ment that cannot be given in the Homes ; and, so far, there have 
been only four such cases. Should any of the inmates become too 
feeble to do their own house work they may, in return for a trifle, 
engage one of the more robust inmates to do it for them ; or they 
may arrange with some friend or relative to come in and ' clean 
them up.' If they are ill, the matron sees to it that they are well 
cared for. If the illness is serious, she sends for their honorary 
doctor and a nurse. It is a rare thing, however, for either a nurse 
or any other paid helper to be required. For, old though they 
be, some of the inmates are still active ; and they are very help- 
ful to one another : the stronger among them give a hand gladly 
to the weaker, and even more gladly to the matron. They keep 
not only their own rooms clean, but also the corridors, staircases, 
windows, etc., while some of them work the allotments of their 
more feeble brethren, as well as their own grow potatoes and 
vegetables for them. Excepting when they are ill, they all do 


their own cooking, of course ; and, what they dearly love, if only 
for the chance it gives of haggling, their own marketing. Thus 
they have quite a busy time in a morning, a fact that makes for 
happiness among them as well as economy ; and for economy it 
certainly makes. 

The inmates of the Alexandra Homes are thoroughly well 
cared for ; they are as well cared for and as secure against neglect 
and ill-treatment as if they were in the most costly of public insti- 
tutions. For they have always within hail someone who can 
either give them help, if they need it, or summon help for them 
promptly. Yet, excepting a very kindly and most capable matron, 
there is not a single paid official there. The matron has, of course, 
someone who comes in and takes her place when she is not there, 
and who lends her a hand on very busy days. She has also a gar- 
dener for a few hours now and then, and a nurse whenever one is 
required. All the paid help she had, however, last year cost only 
8 ; and her own salary, etc., amount to 73 17 s. 4eZ., with housing, 
lights and firing 100 a year altogether at most. Thus these 
thirty old people are watched over, kept out of harm's way, and 
given what care they require at a cost of 108 a year ; at a cost, 
that is, of Is. 4=^d. per head a week. And were they in the average 
workhouse they would each cost in officials' salaries, wages, uni- 
forms, maintenance, etc., 5s. ll^d. a week ; they would, in fact, 
cost there in officials alone 4s. Id. per head a week more than they 
are actually costing in the Homes. And 4s. Id. for one head for 
a week is 357 10s. for thirty heads for a year. 357 10s. is, there- 
fore, the annual saving effected in salaries, wages, etc., by their 
being in the Homes rather than in the workhouse. 

In addition to housing, care-taking, and doctoring the inmates 
are provided with coal ; and that last year cost only 46 7s. 6d., 
or Id. a week per head. For coal, if bought by the truck, is bought 
at less than half the price at which it is bought, as the poor buy it, 
by the quarter. They receive presents, too, from time to time 
from those interested in them, little delicacies, when they are ill, 
extra coal, wood, etc. Still, all that is actually provided for them 
by the Committee as a committee is housing, doctoring, general 
care- taking, and coal. The doctoring costs nothing but 
thanks. Their food, clothing, and what else they require they 
provide for themselves out of their assured incomes, i.e. the yield 
of their own savings or the gifts of their friends, until they are 
seventy, and thenceforth out of their Old-Age Pensions. 


Now, as we have seen, their housing, care-taking, nursing, and 
coal last year cost 4s. l\d. per head a week, i.e. housing, 2s. 7 \d. ; 
care-taking, Is. 4Jd. ; coal, Id. Thus, until they are seventy, 
4s. 7 \d. a week is all that they each cost their fellows, as apart 
from their own friends and relatives ; and not one penny of the 
4s. 7Jd. comes out of either rates or taxes. Even after they are 
seventy, all that they cost their fellows, tax-payers and rate-payers 
included, is 14s. l\d. per head a week, i.e. 4s. l\d. plus 10s. their 
Old-Age Pensions. And were they in the average workhouse, they 
would cost the ratepayers 20s. ( 6\d. per head a week. Were they 
in the Eastbourne Workhouse indeed, they would cost them 29s. 3d. 
per head a week ; and were they in one in London, perhaps 
36s. Sd. Thus every inmate who is under seventy costs his 
fellows 15s. Sd. a week less in the Homes than he would cost 
them were he in even the average workhouse ; and every inmate 
who is above seventy costs them 5s. 8d. less. Supposing, there- 
fore, that fifteen of the inmates are under seventy and fifteen above 
seventy, a clear saving of 832 a year has been effected by 
opening the Alexandra Homes. And, if the saving in money is 
great, the saving in misery is incomparably greater. 

An old man who lives in these Homes was once asked if he 
were comfortable there. 

' Comfortable ! ' he cried, with a joyful chuckle. ' Why, when 
I think of how it was where I used to be, it seems just like Heaven 

And what he said, many of his fellow inmates feel more or less. 

A more contented set of old people it would be hard to find : 
I never heard one of them grumble, never met one who cherished 
a grievance. They are a happy set, too, in their way, as happy 
at any rate as it lies in their nature to be. Some of them, indeed, 
are quite wonderfully bright and cheery, considering what they 
have gone through in the past, and what, through age and in- 
firmity, they have still to bear. And they are as they are, in a 
very great measure, because they have no fear now of ever having 
to go to the workhouse ; because they know that come what may 
they will always have decent folk around them, will themselves 
always be treated as decent folk, with kindliness, consideration, 
respect. They are as they are, happy as the day is long some of 
them, because they have homes of their own where they can live 
their own lives, go their own way, buy what they like, eat what 
they buy, cooked according to their fancy ; eat it in their own 


little rooms, too, with no prying eyes looking on. They are happy, 
too, because they feel themselves free men and women, not mere 
numbers, and because they have something to do, so long as they 
have the strength to do it, and feel, therefore, that they are of 
use in the world, of use to their fellows. 

One of the saddest features of workhouse life is the uselessness 
of the old people who live there. They have nothing to do : day 
in day out they must sit there, as an old lady who was sitting 
there once said to me : ' Just waiting for the end to come.' 

Now, had the Alexandra Homes never been built, the thirty old 
men and women who are now living there in great comfort would 
the chances are many to one -be living in misery, while the rate- 
payers' burden would be even heavier than it is. Thus, were there 
such homes in every town, every district, not only would the 
respectable poor be very much happier than they are, but the 
ratepayers would be considerably richer. For economy's sake, 
therefore, as well as humanity's, such homes ought surely to be 
built with all possible speed in these lean kine days. 




IT has been said that the parson sees a man at his best, that the 
lawyer sees him at his worst, but that only the doctor sees him as 
he really is. 

If that is the truth, as I think it is, I have only myself to thank 
if I cannot give a true picture of the life and character of the York- 
shire moorlander or, as the local phrase has it, moorpout (pout = 
pippit). During a long life spent in practice among this remarkable 
people I have had the fullest opportunity for becoming intimate 
with their life, their language, their ways of thinking, and their 
environment. And, though I make no claim to literary skill, I 
think that the book of my reminiscences, of which this paper is a 
forerunner raven or dove may be welcomed not only as an 
entertaining collection of Yorkshire stories, but as a faithful record 
of a phase of English life which is rapidly disappearing. Motors 
and railways have broken down the old isolation. Railways and 
schools are destroying the old speech. The old dialect words are 
more and more rarely heard. Local place-names are pronounced 
and not only by railway porters as they are spelt (Pumfret, for 
example, has become Pon-te-fract). The moral atmosphere of the 
great towns is, like the smoke of their chimneys, invading and 
obfuscating the life of the moorlanders. One hopes that some 
unforeseen good may compensate the obvious destruction, and 
regrets are proverbially vain, but it is difficult for one who has 
known and loved them to see disappear the characteristic speech 
and manners of what was the toughest and raciest breed of 
Englishmen, and make no effort to save them, at least, from 

The character of the Yorkshire moorlander is not perhaps 
superficially charming, any more than is the aspect of the moorlands 
on which he is bred. It is indeed a very close reflection of his 
natural environment, a bleak and exposed land where the hard, 
bony framework of the earth is but scantily clothed with soil. 
The climate is severe c nine months winter and three months 
cold weather ' was a moorpout's epigrammatic description cf it. 


Habitations are sparse, and the roads, bad at the best of times, 
are, in winter, frequently blocked with snow. I have many times 
had to put up my horse and trap several miles short of my des- 
tination and tramp it over snow-covered moors. In such a country 
the fittest who survive are the physically and mentally toughest 
and hardest, and these characteristics are accentuated by isolation 
and consequent in-breeding. Dwellers in towns, like stones in the 
pot-holes of a river-bed, have all their edges and peculiarities rounded 
off. On the moorlands there is so much elbow-room for everybody 
that individual eccentricities are fully developed, and the angles 
of character remain sharp and rugged. Ruggedness is perhaps the 
most prominent aspect of the moorlander's character. It takes 
the form of a directness of speech, and a hostility to ' furriners ' 
and new-fangled ways, which the visitor from the south finds 
repellent at first contact, though on closer acquaintance he generally 
discovers and learns to value the virile honesty and generous warmth 
of heart which lie behind the rough exterior. The moorlander has 
a caustic tongue, which he uses on occasion without mercy. He is 
nimble in parry and thrust, and will chuckle for many a long day 
over a victory in the battle of tongues. ' Ah capped and larnt 
him ' * Ah put t'capper on ' will be his phrase as he relates his 
exploit over the friendly glass and pipe. 

A Yorkshireman with a fancy for dogs met a friend out 
for a stroll with a dog, evidently a new possession. After critical 
examination of the animal he remarked : 

* It's a grand pup 1 ye've gotten.' 

' Aye, 'tis,' was the reply. 

' What dae ye want for it ? ' 

1 Ten pund.' 

' It's a hell of a price.' 

' It's a hell of a dog,' replied the Yorkshireman and walked on. 

I once asked a shrewd Yorkshire farmer his honest opinion of 
a neighbour of his, another farmer, who, though a prominent 
Churchman, was a time-serving hypocrite of the worst type. ' Whya, 
ye see, Doctor,' my friend replied, ' bottomly [at bottom] he's yan 
o' this soart. He'd gan to t'chetch, tak t'sacriment, then sharpen 
his knife on a tombsteean, and cut his oan muther's throttle.' 

As an example of ready repartee I may quote what was told 
me of an old parson friend, now sleeping his last sleep in God's acre. 

1 Pronounced short oo as in ' soot.' 


One day he came across a farmer named Thackeray belabouring 
a donkey most unmercifully. He took him to task, expressing 
wonder that he could treat a poor dumb animal so cruelly. ' Don't 
forget, Thackra ' (he concluded his rebuke), ' that it was on a 
donkey that Our Blessed Lord rode into Jerusalem.' ' Aye/ 

retorted Thackeray, ' an' if He'd bin on a lazy b like this, He 

would never have got there yet.' 

An old Yorkshire widow a tremendous ' character ' was 
being pestered by the deacon of a local chapel for a donation to 
the Circuit funds. He was notorious as a very keen and grasping 
man of business. He wound up his appeal thus : ' Noo, Mary, 
the Lord luvs a cheerful giver.' * Aye,' riposted Mary, ' but he 
deeant luv a greedy takker.' 

This deacon, with three or four other earnest members of the 
flock, conceived the idea of a house-to-house visitation and mission 
to bring back erring sinners to the fold. All went well until it 
came to old Mary's turn. After an explanation from them of their 
purpose, she rose to the situation at once. She carefully locked 
her kitchen door, and with the key safe in her capacious pocket, 
proceeded to rake up in turn some notorious sin and wickedness in 
the past history of each member of the mission. They had all been 
sinners and had become transformed into saints, on the same 
principle, I suppose, as poachers made the best gamekeepers. 
She had a very long memory and did not spare them. When they 
were ' fair maddled and mafted,' she finally allowed them to depart. 
But the mission came to an abrupt end. 

The vicar of one parish, a former Cambridge don, walked into 
a parishioner's house and remarked, after the usual greetings, 

' Featherstone, why do you never come to church ? ' 

Featherstone : ' 'Cos I'm a Methody and allus gan to t'chapel.' 

Vicar : ' What do you go there for ? They don't teach sound 

Featherstone : ' Mebbe not, but there's yan [one] thing they 
teach ye. J 

Vicar : ' And what's that, pray ? ' 

Featherstone : ' They teach ye to take yer hats off when ye 
gan into uther f oak's houses.' 

On occasion the Yorkshireman can be laconic enough. A 
young and conceited cattle-dealer, whose affairs were not too 
satisfactory, meeting at a sheep fair an old, hardheaded, and very 
successful member of the same calling, clapped him on the back 


and remarked in a patronising tone : ' Hoo are ye gettin' on, 
Broadwith ? ' The old man turned round and, seeing who it was, 
fairly hissed out ' Hoo am Ah gettin' on ? Thank ye, Ah've 
gotten on ; an' that's mair than ye'll ever deea/ 

Occasionally speech is replaced by symbolical action. Another 
cattle-dealer, asked by a country squire his opinion of a well-known 
farmer in the neighbourhood, merely picked up a stray straw from 
the roadside and let it fall to the ground. 

The figure known as meiosis is a favourite with the moor folk. 
1 How are you to-day ? ' I would ask a patient. ' Ah's nae warse ' 
(meaning that he was much better). ' Ah've takken yer stuff and 
it's doan me no hurt.' My stuff was doing him a great deal of good. 

The rough, biting speech of the ' moorpout ' is the outcome 
and expression of his habit of mind. His active, vigorous brain 
has constantly to struggle with the hard facts of a nature which 
seldom smiles and seldom spares. Self-reliance, a keen eye for 
concrete actualities, toughness are the qualities which he respects. 
His independence is downright and uncompromising as solid as 
the boulders of his native moorland. It challenges immediately 
the stranger, and especially the southerner who visits or settles in 
Yorkshire. Accustomed to the greater politeness of the south, he 
resents and deplores the Yorkshireman's ' terrible lack of good 
manners.' When taken to task the latter becomes yet more 
aggressively independent and more forcible in his language. One, 
who by long residence both in Yorkshire and in the south was 
well qualified to judge, very aptly described to me the difference 
between the two. The Yorkshireman, he said, tells you to your 
face what he thinks of you, whereas the southerner will tell his best 
friend. Good manners are very delightful, and play a great part 
in the making or marring of a man, but they may cloak an insin- 
cerity and servility which are abhorrent to the Yorkshireman. 
The latter will tell you he knows quite well what ' behaviour ' is, 
but before anyone is the recipient of Yorkshire politeness or hos- 
pitality he must be considered completely worthy of it. As a 
moorlander put it to me one day' Ah knaws what's what. Ah 
knaws what things belongs, and Ah knaws behaviour. Ah owes 
nobody nowt and Ah tooches my hat to no man wi'out he desarves 
it.' If many of the old Yorkshire squires are on terms of cordial 
familiarity with their servants, tenants, and poorer neighbours, 
it is precisely because they come of stocks in which long residence 
in the county has bred the qualities which the latter understand 


and respect. Some of the old squires whom I knew were quite 
proud of their Yorkshire speech, and often talked it as broadly as 
anyone. One, a baronet, who unfortunately drank heavily, and 
was often carried to bed in a helpless state by one of my friends, 
was Chairman of the Bench of Magistrates in his district, but for 
a long time had dealt out justice in a ridiculously lenient fashion, 
carrying matters with a very high hand. At last his brother 
magistrates, tired of being ignored, held an indignation meeting, 
threatening to report him to the Lord Chancellor unless he mended 
his ways. He was very contrite, promising immediate amendment, 
but at the very first case which came before him soon afterwards 
completely forgot his promise. It was a double charge of assault 
and drunkenness. He pronounced sentence on this offender as 
follows : ' Noo then, for t'assault we'll fine ye a shilling an' costs. 
As for t'droonkenness, we'll say nowt aboot it, as we get droonk 
oorsells.' This story recalls another. An habitual drunkard, 
taking stock of the Bench of Magistrates assembled to try his case, 
commented audibly to himself, * Ah deeant care a damn for aud 
Pollard,' naming one of them. Unfortunately the remark was 
overheard by old Pollard, who retorted ' An aud Pollard deeant 
care a damn for thee.' 

Some sixty years ago a local squarson of autocratic temperament, 
who was the proprietor of all the land, the houses, the trees, the 
streams, the church, and everything appertaining to his village 
except the canopy of the sky, took to task, as he hurried to take 
the Sunday morning service, a villager who had long annoyed him 
by never attending church. ' You never come to church, Thwaite,' 
he said angrily. * Ah knaws that ; tellin' yan weeant mak onny 
better of t'job,' replied the stubborn tyke. ' I will make you 
come to church/ threatened the squarson. ' Thou weeant dae nowt 
o' t'soart, an' thou weeant mak' me gan to t'chetch.' ' I will. If 
you don't come to church, I will turn you out of your cottage. 5 
* Damn ye, Ah tell ye Ah weeant gan to t'chetch an naebody'll 
mak me,' shouted Thwaite, as he turned his back on the parson, 
who strode on to the House of Prayer, full of holy wrath. He 
summoned the man the following week before the local court on 
the charge of using profane language, and the case came before the 
local magistrates a famous sporting baronet and a retired army 
captain. Both these magistrates were very hard swearers them- 
selves, and were much exercised in mind when they had heard 
the evidence. They secretly sympathised with the offender, and 
VOL. LII. NO. 307, N.S; 8 


in their long consultation afterwards were delighted to find a way 
out. The baronet delivered judgment in the following terms : 
' Now, Thwaite, you certainly used very bad language, but not 
profane language. If you had said " G d damn you," that 
would have been profanity, but as you only said " Damn you," we 
dismiss the case.' 

An old Yorkshire squire, a retired colonel, who was always 
busy poking about and seeing that his many retainers worked 
industriously in the station of life to which they had been called, 
was peering over a hedge and watching one of them, who was 
about as much of a character as himself, at work on the stone-heaps. 
Suddenly a large stone flew close past his head, ' Ashby ! Ashby ! ' 
he angrily shouted. ' What the devil do you mean throwing big 
stones over the hedge like that ? Do you know that nearly hit 
me on the head ? ' ' Oh ! it's ye, is it, Conneril ? ' replied Ashby 
in a tone of great surprise. ' Whya, thems that's not favourable 
Ah alms exports and just chucks em ower t'hedge.' 

The following story shows the Yorkshireman's independence 
carried almost to the point of moral anarchy ! A new vicar had 
been appointed to a very remote moorland living. He was very 
broadminded, energetic, and anxious to be the father-confessor 
and consoler to all his parishioners, irrespective of sects and creeds. 
The Nonconformists, however, of whom there were many in the 
parish, held obstinately aloof, and would have no co-operation. 
Meeting one of the most prominent of them, an old sheep farmer, 
at supper one night, the vicar asked him point-blank why those of 
his persuasion did not give him a turn occasionally by attending 
the Parish Church. 'Whya,' was the explanation, 'it's like this: 
ye see at t'chetch ye mak' ower mich of t'ten Commendments, 
and we deeant reckon mich to 'em.' There were, it is true, occa- 
sional cases of sheep-stealing on those moors. 

At its best the moorlander's vigorous independence is a quality 
which commands all respect ; but it is apt to degenerate into a 
narrow exclusiveness, pig-headed stubbornness, and obstinacy in 

Of quarrelling ' threeapin' an' differin' ' there was plenty. 
In old days a little blood-letting would have relieved the tension. 
But that safety-valve having gone out of fashion, the quarrelling 
was all the more bitter and relentless. My friends quarrelled in 
deadly earnest ; they never forgave and they never forgot, and 
sometimes the feud went from father to son. They quarrelled over 


their grazing and sporting rights, over their sheep and stock, over 
trickery in bargaining, and of course over those old bones of con- 
tention wills, religion, and money. A declaration of purpose 
made in the presence of witnesses had almost the force of an oath. 
Personal pride and honour were involved in its observance. I 
knew a country joiner who was an industrious, clever, and honest 
workman. One day high words unfortunately arose between him 
and the vicar over some work he had done on the church pulpit, 
and before witnesses he had expressed himself very assertively and 
emphatically about Church parsons. Shortly afterwards a new 
vicar was preferred to the living, who was a rich man and desirous 
of spending a large sum in repairs and alterations to the vicarage. 
He sent for my joiner friend and together they spent an hour over 
the contemplated work. To the vicar the man appeared strangely 
taciturn and almost absemVminded. In reality a terrible struggle 
was going on within him between self-advantage and self-pride, in 
which the latter eventually got the upper hand. When finally the 
vicar requested him to commence work at once, he fiercely turned 
round on him and hissed out : ' Ah sed Ah'd never deea 
a-nuther job for a Chetch parson an Ah'll warrant ye Ah 
weeant. Good arterneean.' 

Another example from my personal experience. George Ashby 
quarrelled with his life-long friend Robert Kays over a business 
transaction, and declared in the hearing of neighbours that 
he would never so long as he lived cross his threshold again. 
As time went on his feelings towards Robert underwent some 
softening, and inwardly, or ' bottomly,' as they say in Yorkshire, 
he would have liked to be reconciled. But his strong assertion 
about the threshold stood in his way. However, a resourceful 
friend of both parties suggested a golden bridge Why not take 
up the threshold and afterwards replace it by a new one ? The 
suggestion was accepted ; the threshold was taken up, and George 
Ashby re-entered his friend's house after thirty years' absence. 

The following story, which I have on excellent authority, is 
too characteristic to be omitted. Two brothers, William and John 
Bickerdike, quarrelled. How the quarrel arose does not concern 
us, but it was a very real and bitter one, and for forty years, though 
living in the same village and nearly opposite to one another, they 
completely ignored each other's existence. Both were men of 
some substance and position, bore excellent characters, and had 
many friends. These had made repeated efforts to reconcile the 


excellent fellows, but without success. They remained implacably 
hostile, hard as adamant or moorland boulder. One day John 
fell ill, took to his bed, and was soon like to die. The mutual 
friends were much distressed, and, putting their heads together, 
decided that one last effort should be made to reconcile the 
unforgiving brothers. William was first approached, and after 
some considerable hesitation said he ' was willinV John likewise 
hesitated, but in the end was also ' willmY So the brothers met, 
and the long silence of forty years was broken. Of course, no 
allusion was made to the quarrel, but they had quite an affecting 
talk of happy days spent together before it took place, of their 
old father and mother, and many interesting events. Finally, 
William hoped John would go straight to Heaven, and John in 
turn hoped he would meet William there when the latter's turn 
came. They shook hands warmly and bade farewell. But before 
he left the house William was hastily summoned back to the sick 
man's bedside. John had something very important to say. He 
found John sitting bolt upright in bed, whereas he had left him 
lying quite flat. ' Now, William,' said John very solemnly and 
impressively, an uplifted hand emphasising his words. 'Now, 
William, mind ye, if Ah get better, all this is for nowt.' 

The Yorkshireman has great difficulty in owning himself to 
be in the wrong. Two ladies of my acquaintance, driving alone 
over the moor, met a man with a horse and cart, and had great 
difficulty in passing him on the narrow road. He became exceed- 
ingly rude and abusive, so much so that the ladies afterwards wrote 
a strongly-worded letter of complaint to the employer, whose name 
they had recognised on the cart. The latter wrote a most courteous 
letter in reply, promising that the man would come to apologise. 
When the carter arrived he was shown into their presence, and at 
once spoke as follows : ' Ah think ye war the two ladies Ah toad to 
gan to Hell t'other daay.' * Yes, we were,' they replied. ' Well, 
ye've nae 'casion * was the very curt apology. 

If individuals could^be quarrelsome and obstinate, communities 
could be equally so. 

One day, when the countryside was attending the weekly 
market at the little country town of Muxley, a terrible snowstorm 
and blizzard occurred. In a short time the roads were hopelessly 
blocked and the walls and hedges obliterated by snowdrifts. News 
reached a moorland village that its market people had stuck fast 
on the high moorland road, and that all their conveyances were 


more or less completely buried. A large rescue party was hastily 
formed and set off on its mission of salvation with the stalwart 
village blacksmith at its head. The very first man they found 
was the parson, who with his pony and cart was almost out of 
sight in a deep ditch. It happened at the time that this parson 
was in very bad odour with his parishioners. Ihere had been 
much ' threeapin' an' difxerin',' and the parson was for the moment 
the most unpopular man in the village. The delight with which 
he hailed the appearance of the rescuers was, in consequence, not 
reciprocated. Moorland wit was not slow to recognise that here 
was a golden opportunity sent by the gods to more than square 
the long account. There was a hurried consultation, after which 
the blacksmith delivered the ultimatum of the party: 'Noo, bide 
theesen wi' patience an' lang sufferin', for thou's t'varra last man 
we sail dig oot. Thar's Lang Tom, Bill o' Sturrocks, Toldrum, 
Stubbins, Tommie wid t'Lads, and Tommie wid t'Lasses, an' a 
seet mair as are all wanted at heeam to milk t'coos, feed t'pigs, 
sarve t' calves, and tend t'sheep. Thar's Cobbler Jack has gotten 
sum mair leather, an' thar's Mary Harper wi' a seet o' groceries 
that'll be as wet as mook. Noo we deeant want thee till Sunday, 
so bide thaar till we've laated all t'rest.' 

So the poor parson instead of being the first was the very last 
man to be rescued. 

One more illustration of Yorkshire stubbornness. A moor- 
lander, whose uncle had died in a distant workhouse, called on the 
vicar to arrange about the interment, which was to take place in 
the family grave in the old churchyard, and had been delayed for 
some reason. The man was by temperament a ' threeaper,' and 
his temper was not improved by being kept waiting for some time. 
It was in no amiable mood that he addressed the vicar. ' Noo then, 
we sail bring t'aud lad ten miles by t'road an' we reckin we sail 
be at t'chetch by three by t'clock or rather mair for t'sahdin' 
[burial] termorrow arterneean.' The vicar was not a man to be 
dictated to, and replied very decidedly : ' Oh ! What about my 
convenience ? You cannot have funerals just when you think fit.' 
'We're noan partickler ter half an hour or mair/ suggested the 
moorlander. ' I cannot possibly take the funeral to-morrow 
afternoon,' was the uncompromising answer. ' Thou means thou 
weeant try an' mannish it. Ah tell thee, uther foalk can be ez 
meean ez mookment teea. Ah'll warrant ye we sail bring t'aud lad 
along in his box, an' if thou weeant hap t'job up, then we sail 


upend him agean t'chetch door, an' thou can sahd him whenever 
thou's a-mind.' With this the stubborn Yorkshireman strode 
away. The funeral took place at three o'clock the following 
afternoon without further ado. 

Remoteness from railways and the necessity of wresting a 
livelihood from a niggardly soil condemned the moorlander to a 
life of assiduous labour. Many of my patients never wandered 
much farther than to the neighbouring market towns. Many of 
the housewives seldom went even so far. There were men who had 
never been in a train. An isolated existence makes for simplicity 
and the survival of primitive habits in thought and action. Though 
it was a sheep-grazing and stock-breeding country, some corn was 
still grown. The seasons were often dreadfully late. I remember 
in one moorland parish the Church Harvest Festival service, 
arranged for the usual late date, was held before a single stook of 
corn had been * led.' I have seen a farmer bring his corn, stook 
by stook, up to December, into his kitchen to be dried before the 
fire. The steam-thresher rarely penetrated to these inaccessibilities, 
the horse roundabout thresher being still used, or in the smallest 
farms the old hand flail. 

One day I caught up a ' moorpout ' who was striding along the 
moorland road, and asked him after the health of his wife and 
daughter, whom I was attending. Without troubling to stop, he 
kept on at the same pace, answering my questions over his shoulder. 
This struck me as very rude and surly conduct, and a few days 
later I tackled him about it. His explanation was very simple. 
He was sexton of the moorland church, and it was his task to keep 
the clock in order. But he had no watch. He used to walk the 
eight miles over the moors to the nearest town every week to make 
his family purchases, and when ready to return would note the 
correct time of day by the post-office clock. From long experience 
he knew almost to a minute how long it would take him, going at 
a fixed pace, to reach home. The clocks of the dale were then set 
by this highly scientific method. They were notoriously correct. 

I have touched on only a few and those perhaps not the most 
endearing traits of the moorlander's character. Many interesting 
details I could give of primitive habits of thought and primitive 
practices which survived in these out- of the- way moorland farm- 
steads. I could say a great deal about the hospitality of my old 
friends, which was at times overwhelming in its massiveness, of 
their loyalty in friendship, and their indomitable energy and 


courage. But I have almost reached the limits of space allotted 
to me perhaps also those of the reader's patience. 

I will only add by way of tail-piece to my paper one saying 
a thumbnail picture of the moorlander at close of day. One 
winter's evening I was enjoying a ' crack ' and a pipe with one of 
my oldest patients. We were seated in his kitchen dim but for 
the firelight and stray gleams from the oak-dresser and the crockery 
ranged thereon and I had been asking him how he managed to 
while away the long winter evenings, when outdoor work was 
impossible. * Ah sits and smoaks and thinks,' he said. ' Soom- 
times Ah sits and thinks, and soomtimes Ah just sits.' 



LITERATURE, which is so much older than the printing-press as 
to be older than writing, still preserves as habit what it once 
employed as machinery. Rime was once a machine, the stanza a 
machine, rhythm itself, and certainly the exordium. It was found 
necessary, in what I must call oral literature, to begin with the 
bill of fare. When prose, from being oratory, became literature, 
another necessity was felt that you must begin at the beginning, 
that is to say, with the soup. The two were used alternatively 
or, as we shall see, compounded, presented together ; but it was 
reserved to days comparatively recent to introduce the aperitif. 

To serve our own times I must vary the figure. As you look 
upon your novel for what is left to literature now besides the 
novel ? as a chronicle or a symphony, so you will invite the 
reader on your first page to listen to an overture, or to begin at 
the beginning. l There was a man . . . dwelt by a churchyard ' : 
nothing could be better than that in the way of opening. It was 
the old way : 

' Hit befel in the days of Uther Pendragon when he was Kynge 
of all England, and so regned, that there was a myghty duke in 
Cornewaill that helde warre ageynst hym long tyme.' 

That is how the greatest of all romances begins at the 
beginning ; and yet it has in it the germ of the overture ; for it 
gives you the things upon which romance depends, colour and the 
theme. It is not the epic manner, remark : there the convention 
is clear. In epic you begin with the theme. It is not for nothing 
that the ' Iliad ' begins with a wrath, and the ' Odyssey ' with a man. 
But romance, which breathes by colour, adds it to the theme, and 
so it is with the ballad. 

' It fell about the Martinmas time, 
When the wind blew snell and cauld ' : 

there, and in things like it, is the theme presented as colour. 
Some such thing, no doubt, was in Stevenson's mind when he 
held forth to a correspondent upon the necessity for a novel to 
* begin to end badly,' or ' well,' as may be. He quarrelled with 
the happy opening of ' Richard Feverel,' if I remember rightly. 


Well then, with the opening of the * Morte d' Arthur ' in our heads, 
here is its lineal descendant of the nineteenth century, in a brisk 
exordium : 

' About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward, of Huntingdon, 
with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate 
Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northamp- 
ton, and to be thereby raised to the rank of a baronet's lady, with 
all the comforts and consequences of a handsome home and large 

As I say, brisk, business-like, crisp, epigrammatic. Colour is 
watered down to a question of the almanacs ; theme is there, 
without being forced upon us. Yet it is entirely adequate to the 
matter in hand. In its way it is an overture, if only to a toy- 
symphony. It tunes us up. We stand upon the shore of an 
unknown sea, ready for the baronet's lady and all her sequelae. 
Miss Austen is, I consider, one of our best beginners. How 
admirable is that of ' Emma ' ! 

Much had happened in the interval between Sir Thomas Malory 
and her. Among other things Defoe had invented the novel, 
and therefore, in a w r ay, Miss Austen herself. He saw, however, 
no better way of doing it than to make a chronicle of it, which 
had been Sir Thomas's way too ; but there was one vast difference 
between them. Both began at the beginning ; but Sir Thomas 
used colour to enhance his tale, and Defoe to lower it. Sir Thomas 
would enchant you, lift you into ' realms of old ' ; Defoe would 
sober you down. Both used persuasion literature is forever 
linked with cookery but Sir Thomas would have you see reality 
as a dream, Defoe a dream as a reality. Here is Defoe at his 

' I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good 
family though not of that country, my Father being a Foreigner 
of Bremen, who settled first at Hull . . .' 

He runs on with his particularities : his mother's name 
Robinson, his father's Kreutznaer, and so on. That was Defoe's 
manner, which I suspect to have been derived from Cervantes. 
He had the same love of verisimilitude, and the same need of it 
though more daintiness in its employ : 

' In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire 
to call to mind, there lived not long since one of those gentlemen that 


keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old buckler, a lean hack, and a 
greyhound for coursing.' 

That is a much more literary, but not more artful manner 
than Defoe's, essentially the same. It is carefully compressed ; 
Defoe's, with equal care, is diffuse. Both have had their followers. 
Defoe's has outlasted the greater man's. Meantime another style 
of narration had been discovered which I hope I shall be forgiven 
for calling the Cheap-Jack manner. The Cheap-Jack persuades by 
dazzle, by hypnosis. He has unlimited words at his tongue's end, 
and bemuses you with the flood of them. Rabelais is answerable 
for that : 

' Most noble and illustrious drinkers, and you thrice-precious 
profligates (for to you and none else do I dedicate my writings), 
Alcibiades, in that dialogue of Plato's . . . ' 

and so on, and so on for ever. And that also is Sterne's way 
of doing it. True, ' Tristram Shandy ' begins at the beginning, and 
indeed at the very beginning but with what chirping, with what 
prattle ! 

' I wish either my father or mother, or indeed both of them, 
as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what 
they were about when they begot me . . . ' 

Tristram does not get himself born at that rate until the beginning 
of Chapter V, there being so much more of opinions than of life 
in his immortal memoir. With a book like that you have neither 
theme nor colour to predispose you to its perusal. You have 
curiosity, that only. I know people who have tried to read 
' Tristram Shandy ' for the story, to see what happened. And I 
know what did happen. ' Fratello, tu non voi esser inteso : io 
non ti voglio intendere vai con cento diavoli.' That is how an 
Italian, according to Dean Church, treated an ' enigmatic prophet,' 
before throwing him into the fire. ' My dear man, you have 
no desire to be understood, and I no desire to understand you. 
Go to the deuce.' A good many novel-readers have bidden Sterne 
to the deuce ; and I don't at all shrink from owning that I have 
never reached the end of ' Tristram Shandy ' or of ' Gargantua ' 
either for that matter. The Cheap-Jack, in fact, must stand or fall 
upon his own gifts. If his kind of nonsense suits yours, well 
and good. 

Fielding had not the patter for that way of opening. You 


may call his the arm-chair, port-and-walnuts way, and not be 
wrong. He had the passion for dissertation ; he loved it for its 
own sake as well as his own ; he must buttonhole the reader. 
That made him a bad starter, though not nearly so bad as Sir 
Walter Scott ; both ' Amelia ' and ' Tom Jones ' begin at Chapter II, 
' Tom Jones ' hardly there. I think the appetite grew upon him 
with his growing facility. In ' Tom Jones ' you have an overture 
to pretty well every chapter, asides and proscenium-appearances 
which really hold up the action. Thackeray, deriving very much 
from him, was nevertheless better at getting away with the thing. 
Nothing could be better than the openings of ' Vanity Fair ' and 
' Pendennis/ nothing more sententious and ambagical than the first 
chapter of * The Newcomes,' which, however, is put into the pen of 
Pendennis himself, a first-class prig. In ' Esmond ' you are, or ought 
to be, prepared for the easy circumlocutions of Sir Richard Steele 
but except you are uncommonly quick on the uptake, you are not 
so prepared. As a consequence, ' Esmond ' succeeds generally on a 
second perusal, and better and better as you re-read. But com- 
paratively few there be of the ordinary run of readers who find it 
again after the first rebuff. Dickens was an excellent starter, 
using many manners, mostly well. * The kettle began it,' is not 
a happy instance. That is a bang on the drum, like a showman's 
at a fair. But what could be better than the beginning of 
' Dombey and Son ' ? 

' Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great 
arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little 
basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in 
front of the fire, and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous 
to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while 
he was very new.' 

Allowing for Dickens' s weakness for far-fetched images, that is 
as good a formula as you could want for the beginning of a novel. 
Theme and colour both there. The next paragraph is quite as 
good, and the whole chapter keeps it up. What is especially 
artful about it is that, while it is beginning at the beginning in the 
good old way, it is also an overture, according to new doctrine. 
Others followed him hard Charles Reade, Wilkie Collins, Walter 
Besant, and the smaller fry. 

' She went into the garden to cut a cabbage to make an apple- 
pie. And while she was there . . .' 


From the genius to whom that opening was revealed come 
Henry James and all the modern novelists, ' so many and so many 
and such glee,' who begin their books in the middle Mr. Conrad 
and a countless host. Mr. James did not hit upon the device 
until the mezzo cammin of his mortal career, and, as some would 
have it, at the end of his immortal. ' The Portrait of a Lady ' begins 
with a dissertation about tea, very much as ' Tom Jones ' with one 
about things in general. But later on we come to ' She went 
into the garden,' or even to ' So she went into the garden,' which 
is to take a very high line with the reader. I neither accuse nor 
defend. All that I am concerned to say about it is that, beginning 
in the middle, he was generally skilful enough to avoid the explicit 
harking-back which others have not been able to do to their 
detriment, I think. For see what happens. If the middle of the 
story is the beginning of the novel, the beginning of the novel 
will be the middle of the story ; and what then becomes of form, 
which all discuss and none understand ? I don't pretend to 
admire the formula anyhow, and have never been tempted to 
adopt it. You gain very little by it, and lose inevitably much. 
Mr. James became its bond-slave at the last, wound himself in 
webs of explication which involved him ever the deeplier. I dare 
say he did it as well as it could be done but was it worth 
doing ? I doubt it. 

Lastly, you can begin at the end. Mr. De Morgan did that 
once. His hero, the teller of the tale, is on his death-bed when 
the scene opens. That dismal fact haunted me. The tale was 
long. * He'll never last out, poor wretch,' was always at the 
back of my mind as I read on. 

But here is enough of novels. Per correr miglior' acque, for a 

I began with prose, and shall end with it, but wish to say a 
word about epics while it is in my head. It is quite true that the 
practice of Homer, to begin strictly with the theme, has been 
observed in Europe from Apollonius Rhodius, through Virgil, 
and the Italian sugar-baker epopoeists of whose openings Tasso's 
full-sounding line 

1 Canto T armi pietose, e' 1 capitano ' 

is much the best through the mock-epics down to the parlour- 
epic of Cowper 

* I sing the sofa.' 


It lias been followed, I take it, for the plain reason that there 
is no better way of beginning a really great piece of work than 
by telling yourself and the rest of the world just what you are 
going to do. But the absence of colour, the avoidance of all 
pretence to an overture, must have some other reason which I 
suppose to be this, that the Epic has been and has remained a 
classical composition, making no attempt at spheral music, having 
neither space, time, nor inclination for it, depending wholly on 
character and plot. Even in modern, romantic times, even when 
built upon romance, as most of the confectionery epics were 
Boiardo's, Pulci's, Ariosto's the rule has held. I am not ready 
to admit that the ' Chanson de Roland ' is the exception which it 
seems to be. That, as we have it, is an epic fragment. Nobody 
can be sure how it began, except that it was not as it begins now. 
The invocation of the muse, another convention of the Epic, is 
a piece of piety, archaistic or not, with which I don't at all mind 
confessing my sympathy. 

Mock-epics may doubtless be reckoned by fifties (mostly, I 
hope, in caves), but at the moment I can only remember two, 
and have the same fault to find with each of them. Tassoni begins 
his ' Secchia Rapita ' in the regular way 

' Vorrei cantar quel memorando sdegno, 
Ch' infiamm6 gia ne' fieri petti umani 
Un' infelice e vil Secchia di legno. . . / 

But what an extraordinary blunder of his, to let down his whole 
comic apparatus in the third line of the poem, and (so to speak) 
kick the bucket before he has begun ! If you wished to pull the 
thing off I don't see how you could treat the bucket too cere- 
moniously. It is the pivot of your plot, without which you have 
nothing to say. But I don't myself think that Tassoni did pull 
it off. Pope, on the other hand, certainly did, though he made 
it more difficult by just the same too early disparagement of his 
theme : 

* What dire offence from am'rous causes springs, 
What mighty contests rise from trivial things, 
I sing. This verse to Caryl, Muse ! is due : 
This ev'n Belinda may vouchsafe to view : 
Slight is the subject, but not so the praise, 
If She inspire, and He approve my lays/ 

What an ineptitude, when the slightness of the subject was the 


very opportunity of the poem ! Then we come to Cowper and 
' The Task.' 

' The Task ' is not a mock-epic, though it is a good deal more 
amusing than either of those I have just looked at. Part of its 
humour consists in the employment of heavy machinery for a 
light purpose as if you should use a Nasmyth hammer for pound- 
ing sugar, or a steam roller for a cider press ; and it is just 
possible that his word of extenuation is noticeable. If it is notice- 
able it is wrong that's certain. I must now give the exordium : 

* I sing the sofa. I, who lately sang 
Truth, Hope, and Charity, and touch'd with awe 
The solemn chords, and with a trembling hand, 
Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, 
Now seek repose upon an humble theme ; 
The theme though humble, yet august and proud 
Th' occasion for the Fair commands the song/ 

What a gentleman Cowper was ! There is no other way of apprais- 
ing the mastery and courtliness of that beginning. The next 
paragraph is exactly right : 

' Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, 
Save their own painted skins, our sires had none. 
As yet black breeches were not ; satin smooth, 
Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile : 
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock 
Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav'lly banks, 

Fearless of wrong, repos'd his weary strength/ 

Surely, a masterpiece of serio-comic writing. The more one reads 
of Cowper the more one loves him. 

* Nothing shows up a bad sonnet so well as to imagine a church 
built on such lines.' I am reminded of that saying of Kenan's 
by coming naturally to Wordsworth and his way of opening a 
great poem, and recollecting the figure which he used to describe 
his, borrowed from architecture, not from music. ' The Recluse ' 
he said was to have been conceived of as a ' Gothic Cathedral,' of 
which ' The Prelude ' might be considered as the ' ante-chapel.' It 
is calling one a symphony and t'other an overture in other words, 
and distinguishing the work from Epic. ' The Recluse ' was certainly 
not an epic. The subject of it was much too subtle for epic treat- 
ment. But it was of epic proportions. One book of it, the only 



one we have, is of 9000 lines : ' The Prelude ' is of 7000. Whether 
you pound upon the theme or not by way of opening, whether 
you stand in an ante-chapel and look before you into the soaring 
immensities of a nave ; whether your mind is prepared by solemn 
organ-tones, or the shrilling of a trumpet whatever or whichever 
you do, I cannot allow that Wordsworth did fairly by a poem 
which was designed to be the longest, if not the weightiest, in our 
tongue when he began 'The Prelude' by a remark about the 

1 Oh, there is blessing in this gentle breeze ' ! 

But to return to prose, and sum up this curious matter, one 
would say that, for a great book, a significant prelude, some ' music 
of preparation and awakening suspense/ was required. But, to 
judge by examples, it would seem that it is not so. There is 
Gibbon. If ever a man felt the solemnity of dedication to a life's 
work, took up the yoke, knew the touch of the live coal, heard 
the voice saying 'Write,' it was Gibbon. He has told us himself 
how and when he learned what his task was to be. But how 
placidly he sets out the counters on the board like an old woman 
going to play draughts ! 

' In the second century of the Christian Era, the Empire of 
Home comprehended the fairest part of the earth, and the most 
civilised portion of mankind. The frontiers of that extensive 
monarchy were guarded by ancient renown and disciplined valour. 
The gentle, but powerful, influence of laws and manners had 
gradually cemented the union of the provinces. Their peaceful 
inhabitants enjoyed and abused the advantages of wealth and 
luxury. . . .' 

It is a mild, though an adequate, beginning to a work which 
was (and he knew it) to assure him immortality. Yes, it is 
' adequate ' but for one word, the word * abused.' He should 
have left that out. No doubt the Roman citizens did abuse 
their advantages Gibbon is there to say so but do you, should 
you, beg the question of your whole twelve volumes in the first 
paragraph of the first of them ? I cannot think it. 

Try another. Here is the beginning of ' Travels in Arabia 
Deserta,' a great book, done with a great gesture : 

' A new voice hailed me of an old friend when, first returned 
from the Peninsula, I paced again in that long street of Damascus 


which is called Straight ; and suddenly taking me wondering by 
the hand, " Tell me (said he) since thou art here again in the peace 
and assurance of Ullah, and whilst we walk, as in the former years, 
toward the new blossoming orchards, full of the sweet spring as 
the garden of God, what moved thee, or how couldst thou take 
such journeys into the fanatic Arabia ? " ' 

Mr. Doughty is employing a machine, somewhat worn down in 
these days, the machine of the inquiring friend and the long 
recital the machine, indeed, of ' The Arabian Nights.' Yet it is a 
beautiful prelude ; and it is all the prelude. The next paragraph 
plunges into the middle of the beginning, and we are off into the 
dangerous wild. I repeat, a beautiful prelude ; but to end I will 
cap it with a better Kinglake's to ' Eothen ' : 

' At Semlin I still was encompassed by the scenes and sounds 
of familiar life ; the din of a busy world still vexed and cheered 
me ; the unveiled faces of women still shone in the light of day. 
Yet, whenever I chose to look southward, I saw the Ottoman's 
fortress austere, and darkly impending high over the vale of 
the Danube historic Belgrade. I had come, as it were, to the 
end of this wheel-going Europe, and now my eyes would see the 
splendour and havoc of the East.' 

* The splendour and havoc of the East.' I cannot dig from my 
memory or find in my library a more fitting prelude to adventure, 
or a more infallible bar of music upon which to open the pages of 
a good book. 


Printed in England at THI BALLANTYNK PRESS 


Colchester, London S> Eton 


TT is curious, in view of the out- 
standing- importance of the office 
of Prime Minister in the practical 
constitution of the State, that no 


continuous record has been printed 
of the history, character, works, and 
influence of the ministers who in turn 
have occupied that high position. 
The omission is to be supplied by 
the Hon. Clive Big-ham, who, in a 
volume entitled THE PRIME 
need, beginning with Sir Robert 
Walpole in 1721 and concluding his 
volume with Mr. Lloyd George in 
these days of grace, after just two 
hundred years. Here is provided 
one of those sidelights of political 
history which prove so often reveal- 
ing and illuminating. 

A MONGST the true things said 

by Bishop Gore in his new 

work, BELIEF IN GOD, is this : " The 

war and its experiences appear to 

have done a great deal to deepen 

doubts of the reality of divine love 
on the moral government of the 
world. It has weakened the liberal 
faith in progress without strengthen- 
ing the faith in God. In the case 
of the most serious it has left them 
perplexed ; in the mass it has 
weakened idealism and deepened 
cynical materialism. Certainly on 
the whole it has left the youth ol 
the country widely and deeply 
alienated from the Church and from 
organised religion." That the seed 
sown by Bishop Gore in his new 
book has fallen on fruitful ground is 
proved by the immediate great suc- 
cess of his book. Already a third 
large impression has been called for. 

TN his time Mr. Horace Hutchinson 
* has played many parts. As a 
great golfer, as a writer of 
romance, as one of the most genial 
spirits in social life, he has won 
tributes. He is also a thinker. He 
has written a book, THE FORT- 
NIGHTLY CLUB, in which, in the form 
of debates amongst a coterie of 
friends, he treats of certain pro- 
blems which have risen in these later 
days. There is, he claims, one 
hypothesis only on which the purpose 
of Evolution can become in any 
sense intelligible, and that is that it 
is designed to produce a creature 
capable of receiving influences other 
than those which come to us through 
the sense organs and nerve channels 
that are common to all except the 
very lowest animals. This capacity 
and its exercise he calls " human 
spirituality." Students of Auto- 
Suggestion and the other scientific 
isms of the hour had better hurry 
to get Mr. Hutchinson 's book and 
not they only. 
c 11 


N recent years there has been an 
enormous extension of interest 
unquestionably largely 

in music, 

due to Sir Thomas Beecham's 


operatic ventures in London, Man- 
chester, and elsewhere. Therefore, 
a willing audience is assured for the 
new volume of INTERLUDES, 
generally upon music, which Sir 
Charles Villiers Stanford has 
written. Amongst the papers com- 
prising the volume are essays on 
" English Orchestras and Conduc- 
tors," " Beethoven's Ninth (Choral) 
Symphony," on " Recent Ten- 
dencies in Composition," and not 
least attractive upon " Some 
Amateurs." Sir Charles has proved 
himself a musician of the front rank, 
wielding an effective baton and a 
stimulating pen. 

/ T S HE more that present-day 
questions, so far as concern 
international politics, are examined, 
the more necessary it is to study 
the conditions and experiences of 
the later Victorian years. In the 
Near East especially, so many 
modern difficulties seem to have re- 
sulted from the wise, or the unwise, 
actions of the European statesmen 

in those days. THE DIPLOMATIC 
ELLIOT will be found usefully re- 
vealing, at least in certain aspects 
of the Near East ; for Sir Henry 
was our Minister in Turkey in the 
days of the Bulgarian atrocities, and 
the good and great work he did at 
that time has, from causes partly 
revealed in the Introduction to 
the book, been overloked. The 
volume was written after his retire- 
ment in the 'seventies and printed 
privately. The time elapsed since 
then has by no means staled in- 
deed, has accentuated the interest 
of these Recollections. 

p\R. WARRE was a great head- 
^ master ; and not only Etonians 
will be anxious to read the Bio- 
graphy of him, which that well- 
known and popular historian, Mr. 
C. R. L. Fletcher, has written. 
Dr. Warre's life throughout was 
full of constructive energy : an oars- 
man, a volunteer, a student of mili- 
tary science, a horticulturist, an 
agriculturist he was still more an 
effective influence for personal good 
at Eton, the greatest of schools. 

*Tp HE Daily Mail has shown a 
* prompt appreciation of Mrs. 
Barnett's great tribute to her hus- 
band, as is shown in its enthusiastic 
review : "It is a book which 
breathes the spirit of hope and com- 
radeship. Barnett always liked the 
poor better than the rich. ' We 
must have our own likings,' he said, 
when as a young man he turned 
away from dinner parties. The 
hearts of the givers, he admitted, 
might be all right, but he was 
' wearied by their affectation, their 
unreality.' He was often wearied, 
too, by the society of other clergy- 
men. ' They might be a lot of 
parsons,' he wrote, after he had been 
with a party of high-brow 


T N view of the Washington Con- 
1 ference emphasising the position 
in the world of Japan and of our 
obligations of alliance with that 


wonderful people, it is very neces- 
sary to study the Japanese more and 
more to realise their charac- 
teristics, national and personal ; to 
judge the part they played in the 
history of the last century ; and to 
estimate their power and influence in 
the present and the future. Mr. 
J. W. Robertson Scott who before 
he went to Japan five years ago was 
well known in this country for his 
books on agricultural questions 
has just returned after living in 
and travelling that island kingdom 
from north to south. His book will 

NOTHER work it is well to look 
at, if it has not been read 


already and it is possible that the 
many distractions of the war have 
caused it to be a good deal over- 
looked is GHENKO, by Mr. Nakaba 
Yamada, describing the Mongol In- 
vasion of Japan. The author says 
that he was led to write this volume 
through reading Kingsley's "West- 

ward Ho ! " and recognising then 
the great similarities between our 
Spanish danger, through the 
Armada, in the reign of Elizabeth, 
and the Mongol Invasion of his own 
country in the thirteenth century. 
It makes a record of deep interest, 
especially nowadays, and shows 
that the heroic spirit the Samurai 
spirit of Japan is of more ancient 
origin and brightness than many 
had imagined. Mr. Yamada prints 
a translation of the dramatic song, 
in which the defeat of the Mongols 
is celebrated : 
Heaven grew angry, and the ocean's 

Billows were in tempest tossed ; 
They who came to work us evil, 

Thousands of the Mongol host, 
Sank and perished in the sea-weed, 

Of that horde survived but three. 
Swift the sky was clear, and 

Shone upon the Ghenkai Sea. 
There have been laureates who have 
written worse. 

again the January number 
of the Quarterly Review will 
be found of catholic and wide-reach- 
ing quality. Literature and politics 
have the chief place in the pages of 
tLis number : an appreciation of 
Austin Dobson, by Mr. Edmund 
Gosse; an essay on the " Works in 
Prose and Poetry of W. E. Henley," 
by Mr. John Drinkwater; the con- 
tinuation and conclusion of Mr. 
Haines's stimulating paper on 
"Shakespearean Research"; a 
tribute to the late Sir David Hender- 
son, by Mr. John Buchan, are 
amongst the literary and personal 
contributions. There will be also 
articles upon * ' River Control in 
Mesopotamia," on " Abyssinia," on 
" Political Demonology " this with 
particular reference to the recent 
writings of Mrs. Nesta H. Webster. 
Those are but a few of the articles 
in what promises to be a number 
of unusual excellence. 



A MONG the early volumes of 

^ this year which promise to 

be of exceptional interest is a 

record written by Captain L. V. S. 

Blacker of his experiences in 
Turkestan between the years 1918 
and 1920, after some highly honour- 
able experiences on the Western 
Front. With a platoon of Guides, 
Captain Blacker penetrated to un- 
known parts of Turkestan, and has 
written a book of uncommon in- 
terest, as he explored a district of 
which very little is known by the 
people of this country. 

serial by Sir George and 
Lady Scott in THE CORNHILL 
is about to be published in book 
form. THE GREEN MOTH is a talis- 
man of jade, cut in that shape, and 
the occasion of much romantic 
adventure in Burma, of which 
country, through his official con- 
nection there, Sir George Scott 
knows more than pretty well any- 
body else. Perhaps Lady Scott 
will be better recognised under her 
former name of G. E. Mitton, which 
has appeared upon the title-page of 
many stimulating and valuable 
books of fiction and of fact. 

CORNHILL for February 
will contain, besides the con- 
tinuation of OVINGTON'S BANK by 
Stanley J. Weyman, an article of 
special interest in view of the 
Gilbert and Sullivan revival, THE 
LETTERS. These gleanings from 
his correspondence with the 
authors, H. Rowland Brown and 
Rowland Grey, display not only his 
wit, but the friendly side of his 
character, hidden beneath his public 
show of pugnacity. 

Bennet Copplestone will contribute 
a further article in the second series 
ing how the successors of the Eliza- 
bethan seamen failed, without a 
new Drake, to repeat what Drake 
had done. 

HUNTER'S LUCK, by H. Heskel 
Prichard, will appeal to the lover 

General the Hon. Sir Nevill< 
Lyttelton, G.C.B., writes on Pui 

TION. He is one of the few surviving 
officers who entered the Army undei 
that pernicious system. 

. ASQUITH'S spirits 
defence of Lord Kitchenei 
again brings Lord Esher's recently 
published book, THE TRAGEDY 01 
LORD KITCHENER, into promineru 
The book is now in its Sixtl 

These books are published by MR. 
MURRAY, and may be obtained frt 
any bookseller. Mr. Murray wil 
be glad to send his QUARTERLY Lis' 
OF NEW BOOKS to any reader of THI 
being made to him at OA Albemarl 
Street, London, W. i. 


Third Large Edition of Dr. Gore's important work 
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By CHARLES GORE, D.D., formerly Bishop of Oxford. 

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"The most ambitious thing Dr. Gore has done. It is his 

magnum opus'' Birmingham Post. 

" He reckons with all that is most recent in the growing science 

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